Britain, EU Agree To Intensify Talks Over Northern Ireland Protocol

3 weeks ago 21

Britain and the European Union have agreed to intensify talks over the Northern Ireland protocol after “a change in tone” from Brexit minister David Frost, who has stepped back from triggering Article 16.

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said the two sides would focus next week on resolving the issue of access to all UK-approved medicines in Northern Ireland.

“We can and must arrive at the agreed solution that Northern Ireland truly deserves. That is also why I raised forcefully that we need to make serious headway in the course of next week. This is particularly important as regards the issue of medicines. An uninterrupted long-term supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is the protocol-related issue on
everyone’s mind in Northern Ireland,” Mr Sefcovic said after meeting Lord Frost in London.

“I stand by my commitment to do whatever it takes to address this issue in line with what industry tells us. I prefer to have a joint solution with the UK Government but if we are to amend our own EU legislation – something we are committed to do – we need to find this solution quickly. We will therefore intensify our talks next week.”

Both sides agree that the medicines issue is crucial but the EU is resisting Britain’s call for it to be removed from the scope of the protocol, promising to amend European rules instead.

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