The EU and U.K. Reach a Temporary Truce on Northern Ireland

MIN READSep 7, 2021 | 15:52 GMT

A sign is seen at Stena Line's Irish Sea ferry terminal in Liverpool on Sept. 7, 2021.

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The EU-U.K. agreement to extend the grace periods for the full implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol means that there will not be any significant disruptions in bilateral trade or an escalation of tit-for-tat punitive measures in the short term. However, the European Union and the United Kingdom’s fundamentally different goals for amending the protocol means that long-term uncertainty and risks persist. On Sept. 6, the U.K. government announced that the grace period for the implementation of customs controls at the Irish Sea, which was meant to end on Oct. 1, will be extended for a still-to-be-determined length of time "to provide space for potential further discussions" with the European Union over the implementation of the controversial Northern Ireland protocol of the 2019 Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. After the United Kingdom’s announcement, the European Commission issued a statement expressing its interest in reaching a deal and saying that it does not plan...

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