Yesterday the bloc appeared to signal it was willing to be more flexible in its approach on customs checks from Britain to Northern Ireland. However, the proposals put forward by the bloc have already been rejected by No10.
As part of Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, he agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol which effectively implements a border down the Irish Sea.
It means food and agricultural goods must fill in bureaucratic paperwork ahead of travel.
The bloc yesterday appeared to indicate it was willing to soften its approach on the implementation of Protocol.
Officials have indicated the UK could align with EU food regulations to avoid the checks.
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They added Britain could sign up to dynamic alignment on the condition the UK can pull out if necessary due to future trade deals.
However, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman rejected the suggestion this afternoon.
He said: “We’re open to an arrangement based on equivalence.
“We cannot accept arrangements that are based on dynamic alignment with the EU in perpetuity.
“That’s our position and that position continues.
“Discussions on the protocol continue.”
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The Commission has since started legal action against Britain, accusing the Government of breaking the terms of the Protocol by delaying the introduction of extra paperwork.
Britain wants the EU to agree to an alternative model in which both territories have different regulations but accept that they are equally strong.
Neither would have to follow each other’s rules but would accept standards are equally as good.
The EU already has a similar agreement in place with New Zealand.
However, Brussels has argued the deal with New Zealand is for a far smaller number of products.
It believes a similar agreement with the UK “would reduce the need for checks without eliminating them”.
“We think that if the UK remains aligned with our high standards many of the problems we face will go away,” an EU official said.
“Only a structural shift in the position of the UK can lead to a reduction in the number of checks and so forth.”