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Conservative conference: NI protocol coming apart and we must act, says Frost

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Conservative conference: NI protocol coming apart and we must act, says Frost



The UK's Brexit minister has threatened to suspend parts of the deal with the EU if the bloc does not agree changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.


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Lord Frost said the protocol - put in place to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland - was "not working and needs to change".


He said he worried the UK's proposals would not be agreed by the EU.


Lord Frost said triggering Article 16, which would suspend part of the deal, may end up as "the only way" forward.


The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed by both sides as a way to protect the Good Friday Agreement by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU's single market for goods.


But Unionists have said the protocol damages trade with other parts of the UK by creating a border in the Irish Sea.


Article 16 can be triggered by either the UK or EU to suspend elements of the Brexit deal on the condition that the protocol is causing "serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade".


But critics say it would only be a temporary fix and not solve the long-term issues which the protocol has raised.


Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the government believed "the conditions have been met" to trigger Article 16.


But while he said the government was willing to trigger it, they preferred the option of negotiating a "sustainable" agreement with the EU.

Topic starter Posted : 05/10/2021 5:20 am