The European Union’s tolerance with Britain on Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland is wearing thin, and if Britain continues on its “confrontational course,” the group would explore its options, an EU official warned on Monday.
On Wednesday, the European Commission and the United Kingdom will meet to discuss their trade agreement as well as their disputes over the Northern Ireland protocol, which is part of the Brexit divorce agreement.
According to the EU official, the British government must either commit to executing the protocol and finding the EU prepared to be flexible, or continue down a more confrontational road.
The failure of the United Kingdom to execute the agreement, according to the European Commission, undermines trust.
It cites the stalling of border post construction, a failure to comply with tracking obligations to ensure food products remain in Northern Ireland, and EU officials’ limited access to customs IT systems.
On Sunday, David Frost, the British minister in charge of EU relations, warned that EU negotiators needed to show more pragmatism and less “legal purism” in their negotiations.
Medicines, guide dogs, livestock marking, and steel were among the sectors in which the EU was willing to be flexible, according to the EU official.