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Brexit: UK confident in changes to Northern Ireland ‘unsustainable’ protocol | Politics News

The UK government is confident to agree to changes to Northern Ireland’s protocol with the European Union, they told MPs.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said there “must be” changes to the arrangement, which is a key part of the Brexit agreement between London and Brussels aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“The current status quo is not sustainable,” he told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

The Protocol feud has worsened relations between the two sides in recent months and sparked protests in Northern Ireland.

Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, complained of having a “chilling effect” on trade between Britain and Northern Ireland.

As part of the deal, Northern Ireland remains subject to certain EU rules and checks are carried out on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Mr Lewis’ comments come after Edwin Poots, the outgoing leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, said he had received personal assurances from the UK government that there would be significant changes to the protocol.

Asked what he said to Mr Poots, Mr Lewis said: “We are very clear that the current position of the protocol is not sustainable, it poses problems for businesses, consumers and consumers. citizens of Northern Ireland, and we must fix it.

“At the end of the day for us there is one key point in the protocol, which is to protect and respect the UK internal market and not disrupt the daily lives of people in the communities.

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“We want this to be rectified and we are determined to do so, so I think it’s reasonable for anyone to consider that we’ve said there will be changes because there has to be change, the current status quo is not.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-23 09:34:00

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