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Brexit: Sefcovic (EU Commission) responds to Lord Frost’s remarks on Northern Ireland Protocol. Yes to “creative solutions”, “no to renegotiation”

“The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is the joint solution that the EU found with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Lord David Frost – and was ratified by the UK Parliament – to address the unique challenges that Brexit, and the type of Brexit chosen by the British government, poses for the island of Ireland”. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič issued a statement today in response to Lord Frost’s remarks pressing for a “significant change to the Northern Ireland protocol” to address the difficulties that have emerged in the circulation of goods between Northern Ireland (which is still in the Single Market) and the UK. Šefčovič said he looks “forward to speaking to Lord Frost soon”, but also recalled that the aim of the Protocol is to “protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its parts” and avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland while also preserving the integrity of the EU Single Market. “The EU has sought flexible, practical solutions to overcome the difficulties citizens in Northern Ireland are experiencing regarding the implementation of the Protocol”, the Vice-President added, citing, for example, the package of measures tabled by the Commission on 30 June “to address certain pressing issues, including changing our own rules to ensure the long-term supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland”. While Šefčovič said he is ready to “continue to seek creative solutions, within the framework of the Protocol, in the interest of all communities in Northern Ireland”, he made clear he will not agree to “a renegotiation of the Protocol”.

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