Brexit LIVE: UK ordered to follow EU law before showdown today –

The vice-President of the EU Commission will meet today to discuss the trade issues experienced in Northern Ireland with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove. Despite the UK asking for an extension to the grace period on goods flowing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the EU official insisted not “everything can be solved”. Northern Irish officials will attend the committee today in support of extending the grace period until 2023.

Ahead of the crunch meeting today, Mr Sefcovic said: “Not everything can be solved. There are inevitable consequences of Brexit, and simply we have to follow EU law, we have to follow the agreement we just signed.

“The EU will always remain constructive and solution-driven, but I’ve also reminded my British partners that this must be a two-way street.

“We’ve had a very intense session in December to make sure entry points would be up and ready by the middle of this year.

“That we would have real-time access to the IT customs systems which would smooth further customs formalities, that we would more information on how the trusted trader scheme is working for GB distributors to make sure supermarkets in NI are properly supplied.”

As part of the protocol, Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s single market for goods and enforces some of its customs arrangements.

From January 1 a grace period began, meaning that not all of the EU’s rules and regulations have yet been applied.

This grace period runs out on April 1 with Mr Gove asking for it to be extended to 2023 in a letter earlier this month.

As stated by the EU official, Brussels has made certain demands to see certain IT data information and port infrastructure created in order for the grace period to be extended.

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7.54am update: Brexit fishing row threatens to boil over – Germany promises to take hardline over quotas

Brexit talks over this year’s fishing quotas are threatening to boil over with Germany insisting its industry is protected in any fresh deal.

EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said the negotiations should be concluded as soon as possible and that an agreement can be reached on future fish catches in the coming weeks.

After consultations with the national EU ministers, Mr Sinkevicius said: “We are still confident that we can agree on final fishing quotas for 2021 before the end of March.”

The current chairman of the EU Fisheries Council, Portugal’s Minister for Marine Affairs Ricardo Serrao Santos, stressed that the negotiations had to be concluded as soon as possible.

Although the EU member states have already agreed on quotas with the UK after two days of negotiations in mid-December, they were only preliminary results for the first three months of 2021.

7.20am update: “There will be consequences to Brexit”

Ahead of today’s joint committee meeting, vice-President of the EU Commission Maros Sefcovic, has warned the UK must be prepared for the backlash from its departure from the EU.

Mr Sefcovic will meet Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove today where the latter will ask for an extension to the grace period for good moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

This grace period has been in action since January 1 and means not all EU checks are applied to goods.

Mr Gove had written to the EU asking for the period to be extended to 2023 earlier this month.

However, in defiance of that request, Mr Sefcovic said: “Not everything can be solved. There are inevitable consequences of Brexit, and simply we have to follow EU law, we have to follow the agreement we just signed.

“The EU will always remain constructive and solution-driven, but I’ve also reminded my British partners that this must be a two-way street.

“We’ve had a very intense session in December to make sure entry points would be up and ready by the middle of this year.

“That we would have real-time access to the IT customs systems which would smooth further customs formalities, that we would more information on how the trusted trader scheme is working for GB distributors to make sure supermarkets in NI are properly supplied.”

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