Lord Frost provides update on Northern Ireland protocol
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The European Commission vice-president rejected Lord Frost’s calls to negotiate the Brexit deal’s protocol to avoid a hard border. Instead, the EU’s negotiator said he was willing to explore “flexible, practical solutions” within the confines of the post-Brexit border fix to relieve the burden of the measures on people in the region. Mr Sefcovic said: “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. Its aim is to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its parts, maintain peace and stability in Northern Ireland, avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, while preserving the integrity of the EU Single Market.
“In order for these objectives to be achieved, the Protocol must be implemented. Respecting international legal obligations is of paramount importance.”
He added: “We will continue to engage with the UK, also on the suggestions made today. We are ready to continue to seek creative solutions, within the framework of the Protocol, in the interest of all communities in Northern Ireland. However, we will not agree to a renegotiation of the Protocol.”
The EU Commission’s hardline interpretation of the post-Brexit rules for Northern Ireland are set to be backed by member states.
Even Ireland, which is calling for more flexibilities than others, has said no to renegotiation.
One EU diplomat told Express.co.uk: “The Northern Ireland Protocol was negotiated and signed by Boris Johnson.
“It was ratified by the UK Parliament.
“We now expect the UK to implement what it has negotiated, signed and ratified. No ifs, no buts, no excuses.”
A second insider added: “There’s no unilateral action and no room for renegotiation on the Protocol.”
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