Brexit news: EU statement in FULL – Maros Sefcovic warns bloc ‘will respond’ over Protocol

EU 'violating Northern Ireland protocol' says Redwood

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced plans to table the Northern Ireland protocol in an effort to scrap parts of the agreement that place the “Good Friday” agreement “under strain”. Ms Truss said: “The Northern Ireland protocol does not have the support necessary in one part of the community in Northern Ireland.”

Referring to issues the protocol bears impact on, such as the need for veterinary checks and tax cuts, Ms Truss said: “These practical problems have contributed to the sense that the east-west relationship has been undermined,” before adding “we need to restore the balance in the agreement.”

Ms Truss proposed legislation to create a “green channel” for goods being transported from Britain to Northern Ireland, that would not continue on to the Republic of Ireland, with mandatory checks stopping for these exports. 

The goods transported on to the Republic would still face checks, via a “red channel”.

However, European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic has since criticised her plan and warned that Brussels could retaliate.

He said: “Should the UK decide to move ahead with a bill disapplying constitutive elements of the protocol as announced today by the UK Government, the EU will need to respond with all measures at its disposal.

“Our overarching objective is to find joint solutions within the framework of the protocol. That is the way to ensure legal certainty and predictability for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

“With political will and commitment, practical issues arising from the implementation of the protocol in Northern Ireland can be resolved.

“The European Commission stands ready to continue playing its part, as it has from the outset.”

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