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DUP urges British government to act 'unilaterally', after EU and UK meet over NI Protocol

The UK Government recently made a request to the European Commission for an extension of grace periods until 2023.

Image: PA Images

THE UK GOVERNMENT has been urged by the DUP to “act unilaterally” over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Speaking after a meeting of the UK-EU committee for implementing the mechanism, Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster said the British government must “step up and protect the internal market”.

In a joint statement after the virtual meeting today, co-chairmen Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and European Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič  said both sides committed to the “proper implementation” of the Protocol.

Both the UK and the EU have admitted that the checks associated with the Northern Ireland Protocol have not gone as smoothly as expected. 

The UK Government recently made a request to the European Commission for an extension of grace periods concerning trade between Great Britain to Northern Ireland until January 2023.

This would include a grace period for health certificates for major supermarkets, and an extension on waiving the ban on chilled and processed meats.

2.58026703 Source: PA Images

“The parties acknowledged the importance of joint action to make the Protocol work for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland.

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“In that spirit, the EU and UK reiterated their full commitment to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions, and to the proper implementation of the protocol,” they said.

“The UK and the EU underlined their shared commitment to giving effect to those solutions agreed through the Joint Committee on 17 December 2020, without delay.

The UK noted that it would provide a new operational plan with respect to supermarkets and their suppliers, alongside additional investment in digital solutions for traders in accordance with the protocol.

A further meeting of the joint committee is set to take place to “provide further steers and where appropriate approvals”.

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