The UK Is Balking at the Northern Ireland Protocol So, What Is That?

Updated: July 22nd, 2021 11:05 AM IST

“We need to redo the deal” says man who negotiated and signed the deal and said it was great and oven-ready and would get Brexit done.

The UK Is Balking at the Northern Ireland Protocol So, What Is That? Photo

The UK has launched an audacious bid to rewrite a key plank of the Brexit deal, saying the Northern Ireland protocol was flawed at conception but served its purpose to get the UK out of the EU as “one country”.

The European Commission immediately ruled out a renegotiation of the deal, which was trumpeted by Boris Johnson as a solution to the Irish border impasse two years ago. The commission is understood to be open to some changes on the special arrangements for Northern Ireland, however.

EU officials expressed exasperation at the UK’s move, unveiled in a 28-page command paper by the Brexit minister, David Frost, on Wednesday. He told peers the protocol was unsustainable and said the UK “cannot go on as we are” given the “ongoing febrile political climate” in Northern Ireland.

With supermarkets warning they may pull out of the region unless there are changes, Lord Frost warned that the “burden” on shoppers and manufacturers would get worse without significant changes.

Remove all customs checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain but introduce a light-touch regime whereby businesses would register their trade and agree to inspections of their supply chains.

The UK believes the changes would remove barriers to supermarkets, online shoppers and manufacturers, and secure the future of British supermarkets in Northern Ireland.

Frost stopped short of ripping up the document completely or triggering the article 16 provision, which enables either the UK or EU to suspend part of the arrangements in extreme circumstances.

However Maroš Šefčovič, the EU vice-president in charge of EU-UK relations, said Brussels has sought “flexible, practical solutions” and “will not agree to a renegotiation of the protocol”.

Top Tweets About The Story

Top World Stories
US and China trade barbs after another high-level meeting but say they want to keep talking Photo US and China trade barbs after another high-level meeting but say they want to keep talking
The Latest: Chinese city lists more cases in local outbreak Photo The Latest: Chinese city lists more cases in local outbreak
Tokyo Olympics live updates: swimming gold for Australia’s McKeown and one-two finish for Team GB; women’s triathlon win for Bermuda Photo Tokyo Olympics live updates: swimming gold for Australia’s McKeown and one-two finish for Team GB; women’s triathlon win for Bermuda
Bennett wont order Arab eviction from Sheikh Jarrah Photo Bennett wont order Arab eviction from Sheikh Jarrah
Iran says armed Mossad cell arrested over plot to provoke clashes at protests Photo Iran says armed Mossad cell arrested over plot to provoke clashes at protests
Global shipping industry disrupted again, this time by floods in Europe and China Photo Global shipping industry disrupted again, this time by floods in Europe and China
Explosion at German chemical complex declared extreme threat Photo Explosion at German chemical complex declared extreme threat
New Zealand to resettle suspected Islamic State militant and her children after Australia revoked citizenship Photo New Zealand to resettle suspected Islamic State militant and her children after Australia revoked citizenship