NI Protocol – Large Gap to be Bridged
Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker stated in an interview on the 23rd January 2023 that there was still a “large gap to be bridged” in order to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol conundrum.
Earlier in the month UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič met in London with a new commitment to finding a solution to the impasse.
The way forward was cleared significantly in that very meeting when the UK government agreed to allow access to a British database which will allow the real-time monitoring of goods entering Northern Ireland and/or going across the border to Southern Ireland, at which point those goods enter the EU.
Protecting the integrity of the EU Single Market aswell as protecting the right of Northern Ireland to remain in the UK internal market and the Good Friday Agreement are seen as priority as negotiators try to find a way through the impasse caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol, put into place after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and his determination to “Get Brexit Done”.
Following the meeting in London, a warning was issued in an interview from the leader of the DUP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. He urged Rishi Sunak to “get this done, and done properly”, stating that the DUP would not tolerate a situation where Northern Ireland is treated like “an EU Colony”.
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