UK wants ‘substantial change’ to Northern Ireland protocol
London, Jul 21 (EFE).- The UK government has put forward a proposal to introduce “substantial change” to the Northern Ireland protocol, calling for a temporary “standstill” period to resume negotiations with the European Union, according to Brexit Minister and lead negotiator David Frost.
“We cannot go on as we are,” claimed Frost. “These proposals will require significant change to the Northern Ireland protocol.
The Brexit minister spoke in the House of Lords, where he advocated for a “standstill,” which would extend the grace period to allow continued trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and suspend legal action by the EU.
He argued the current circumstances would justify the UK triggering a unilateral suspension of the agreed mechanism under the deal’s article 16, but “we concluded that it is not the right moment to do so.”
“The difficulties we have in operating the Northern Ireland protocol are now the main obstacle to building a relationship with the EU,” he said.
The controversial Northern Ireland protocol prevents a physical border with the Republic of Ireland, a member state of the EU, but imposes border controls on the trade of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. EFE