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09.06.2021 14:57 News >> UK, EU Spat Continues Over Northern Ireland Protocol

UK, EU Spat Continues Over Northern Ireland Protocol

Both sides look for compromises on checks over goods.

A refreshed war of words between Britain and the EU started on Wednesday over ongoing uncertainties over the Brexit regulations related to Northern Ireland.
The latest spat came after UK's Brexit minister David Frost invited the EU officials to show "common sense" and compromise on checks over goods transported to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK – a requisite according to the Northern Ireland Protocol signed last December by both parties.
"Further threats of legal action and trade retaliation from the EU won't make life any easier for the shopper in Strabane who can't buy their favorite product," Frost said ahead of a meeting with his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic.
He said: "When I meet Maros Sefcovic later today my message will be clear: time is short and practical solutions are needed now to make the Protocol work."
"I look to the EU to show flexibility and engage with our proposals so that we can find solutions that enjoy the confidence of all communities."
Frost was responding to Sefcovic, who on Tuesday warned against "quick fixes" to border issues.
European Commission vice president Sefcovic earlier threatened to retaliate with a ban on selling some products in Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Protocol necessitates border checks on any animal and plant-based products, including frozen meet and processed meat products before their transport to Northern Ireland, which is aligned with the EU rules and regulations.
The protocol creates a de facto trade border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and rest of the UK.
The UK is considering the extension of the grace period, which allowed many of the products into Northern Ireland with relaxed checks, beyond June 30, when it will end.
The EU, however, says a unilateral extension would be a breach to the internationally signed Brexit agreement.
The UK left the bloc on Jan. 31, 2020 as a result of a 2016 referendum that ended the country's more than 40-year-long membership to the European club.
The agreement signed by the sides included the Northern Ireland Protocol, which practically avoided a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Northern Ireland saw sporadic street protests by loyalist groups who reject the protocol and any checks on goods coming from the other parts of the UK earlier this year. Dozens of police officers were injured, a public bus and cars were burnt down during the rallies. -



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