April 27, 2021
EU finally agree to ratify UK trade deal following a parliamentary vote with 660 for and 5 against, with 32 abstaining. The EU’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt later said “a failure for both sides, but better than nothing”
There has been a rise in tensions in Northern Ireland which has been attributed to the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Northern Ireland Protocol was implemented to ensure that a hard border would not be established with the Republic of Ireland.
Under the protocol, customs procedures and checks would occur to certain products crossing between Great Britain and NI.
Apart from creating tensions between the UK government and the European Union, parts of the unionist population view the Protocol as bringing the north closer to the republic and a separation from the rest of the UK.
In an attempt to mitigate further unrest and provide an easement to the regulations that enforce regularity checks at the Irish Sea border points, the European Union have offered the UK an option that would involve the UK aligning with EU regulations on food, plant and environmental standards in exchange for reduced friction in Northern Ireland.
French fishermen claim that the UK are too slow in issuing licences to French trawlers, saying that their livelihoods are at stake. Relations between the UK and the EU have become further strained following the implementation of barriers against the importation of live shellfish. The UK made fishing rights a key issue in the negotiations, with control over access to its waters seen as a sign of British sovereignty.