German Scholz warns the UK against “unilateral” change in the post-Brexit deal in Northern Ireland

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday opposed any challenge to post-Brexit controls that establish a special status for Northern Ireland, which London says is “unsustainable” after the Sinn Fein Republicans won the recent election in the territory of the United Kingdom.

The UK has hinted at the possibility of unilaterally suspending part of the Brexit deal if a new deal with the EU cannot be reached.

“No one should unilaterally cancel, break or in any way attack the agreement we have agreed together, especially since we know that it is a complex issue that not only affects relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, but must also do with the peaceful development of Ireland, ”Scholz said.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who appeared alongside him at a joint press conference in Berlin, also said he was against such a move.

“It has always been important to find a comprehensive solution that meets all these requirements at the same time, and that is what we are committed to, without changes,” insisted the German Chancellor.

Sinn Fein Republicans, supporters of Irish reunification, won local elections for the first time on Thursday.

This puts them in a position to head the local executive, which should be shared with unionists pledged to remain part of the British crown under the 1998 peace agreement.

But paralysis threatens: For the Democratic Unionist Party, now the second force in the local assembly, it’s not about joining a government unless the post-Brexit special status is changed.

The Northern Ireland protocol, which sets the rules, “is not sustainable in its current form” given the elections in the British province, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Tuesday morning.

The DUP is vehemently opposed to the protocol, which creates a trade barrier with the rest of the UK in the form of customs and regulatory controls in Northern Ireland’s ports.

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said no decision on next steps had yet been made by the British government.

“We will continue to speak with the EU, but we will not let this hinder the protection of peace and stability in Northern Ireland,” said a British briefing paper released on Tuesday.

Irish counterpart Michael Martin also said he warned Johnson not to take unilateral action. Brussels is looking for changes within the terms of the existing agreement.

The agreement between London and the EU, part of the Brexit divorce treaty, keeps Northern Ireland subject to certain EU rules and within the EU single market for goods in order to preserve an open border with the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU to the south.

London has been trying for months to renegotiate the protocol with Brussels, without any significant progress so farand has repeatedly threatened to unilaterally suspend certain provisions in the absence of an agreement.

Brussels has made detailed proposals last October to mitigate the impact of the new provisions. This year it announced significant changes to post-Brexit regulations to allow drugs to continue flowing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Although the protocol entered into force in January 2021, the grace periods on agri-food controls between Great Britain and Northern Ireland were unilaterally imposed by the UK government to allow businesses to adapt to the new arrangements and were subsequently prolonged indefinitely.

The Northern Ireland Protocol was not imposed on the UK by Brussels, but was negotiated by Boris Johnson himself and his government in the fall of 2019, several months after he became prime minister.

The difficulties surrounding the Irish border were well known, the issue being one of the root causes of the parliamentary stalemate which paralyzed the government of former Prime Minister Theresa May and led to repeated delays in the UK’s exit from the EU.