T

he US and Ireland have urged Boris Johnson’s Government to resolve issues around Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trading arrangements within the terms of the existing arrangements.

Brexit minister Lord Frost will set out his plans for the Northern Ireland Protocol in response to concerns about the level of checks imposed on goods crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain

Lord Frost’s statement in Parliament comes after the Prime Minister used a phone call on Tuesday with his Dublin counterpart, Micheal Martin to urge “pragmatism” in order to mend the issues being created by the post-Brexit terms.

Retailers including Marks & Spencer have warned that the current arrangements mean some products will not be able to be sold in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Protocol has caused anger in Unionist communities (Brian Lawless/PA) / PA Wire

Lord Frost has previously warned that he could be prepared to unilaterally suspend parts of the deal, under powers contained in Article 16 of the Protocol, although he is not expected to go that far on Wednesday.

But any attempt to water down the implementation of the agreement – signed by Mr Johnson and negotiated by Lord Frost – would be met with a backlash from Brussels.

US President Joe Biden is proud of his Irish roots and his administration is taking a keen interest in the issue.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said “it’s something that we’re watching”, adding: “We do support a close relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and we encourage them to negotiate within the existing mechanisms when differences do arise.”

“We’ve consistently said that we welcome the provisions in both the trade and co-operation agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol between the UK and the European Union, which, importantly, help to protect the gains of the Belfast and Good Friday Agreement,” he told reporters.

Mr Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, a former secretary of state, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the president is “deeply immersed” in the issue.

Main Source link