EU expecting Northern Ireland Protocol plan from UK in the ‘coming days’

A cargo crate being moved in Belfast Port
A cargo crate being moved in Belfast Port (PA Wire)
18:42pm, Fri 26 Mar 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

The European Union is expecting the UK to set out a road map detailing how it plans to fully implement the post-Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland in the “coming days”.

Both sides said talks between officials on the Northern Ireland Protocol took place in a “constructive atmosphere” on Friday after a period of high tensions.

The EU launched legal action, accusing the UK of again breaching international law, after London unilaterally extended the post-Brexit grace periods on trade in the region.

The bloc has been demanding that the UK provides it with a “credible road map” to implementing the outstanding requirements under the protocol.

The EU is expecting to receive the roadmap in the next coming days

“The EU stands ready to find swift, pragmatic solutions within the framework of the Protocol, and on the basis of a joint list of outstanding issues,” a statement from the European Commission said on Friday.

“The EU is expecting to receive the roadmap in the next coming days.”

Both sides said they would remain in regular contact over the coming weeks in a bid to resolve the outstanding problems.

Goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Britain currently face a raft of checks, which are only set to increase when the grace periods expire.

The protocol was a compromise struck to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, but unionists are calling for the UK Government to ditch it for creating a border in the Irish Sea.

In other Brexit developments, the Treasury said technical discussions on the memorandum of understanding to create a framework for financial regulation have been concluded.

A statement said formal steps are needed before the agreement is signed but they expect it can be done “expeditiously”.

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