British Minister for Northern Ireland confident in protocol changes
LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s Northern Ireland minister said he was confident on Wednesday that London would agree to changes with the European Union over the Northern Ireland protocol that disrupted post-Brexit trade in the region ruled by the British.
The protocol effectively treats British-ruled Northern Ireland as part of the European Union for customs purposes and was designed to avoid politically sensitive border controls with EU member Ireland.
It did, however, create additional controls for goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain.
“We have been very clear that the current position of the protocol is not sustainable and we need to rectify this and I am optimistic and confident that we will get there in the time to come,” Brandon Lewis told a parliamentary committee. .
“I think it’s reasonable that anyone who considers that there will be changes, there has to be.”
Although the two sides signed the deal after years of protracted negotiations, they have clashed over how it has been interpreted since it entered into force when Britain completed its exit from the EU at the end. from 2020.
The EU said Britain must implement the protocol and restore trust with the bloc, but also that it is ready to find creative solutions. Read more
Lewis said the comments from the companies illustrated the need for changes.
“Almost every business or business representation group we have engaged with has had issues with the protocol that they want to see resolved,” he said.
Report by Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by Toby Chopra
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