David Frost releases statement saying: “Time is short and practical solutions are needed now to make the Protocol work.”

David Frost meets EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič

Today UK EU relations Minister David Frost is to meet with EU Commision Vice President to talk over matters regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Just before Mr Frost went into the meeting he released a statement saying: “Today’s historic first meeting of the UK-EU Partnership Council marks an important milestone in our new relationship as friendly trading partners and sovereign equals.”

“Along with the Joint Committee, I hope this will be a productive forum where we can address shared challenges by working together in the spirit of mutual trust and cooperation.”

“First among these challenges is the damaging impact the Protocol is having on the ground in Northern Ireland. Businesses in Great Britain are choosing not to sell their goods into Northern Ireland because of burdensome paperwork, medicine manufacturers are threatening to cut vital supplies, and chilled meats from British farmers destined for the Northern Ireland market are at risk of being banned entirely.”

“When I meet Maroš Šefčovič later today my message will be clear: time is short and practical solutions are needed now to make the Protocol work.”

“Our overriding shared priority must be to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and the peace process. I look to the EU to show flexibility and engage with our proposals so that we can find solutions that enjoy the confidence of all communities.”

“Further threats of legal action and trade retaliation from the EU won’t make life any easier for the shopper in Strabane who can’t buy their favourite product. Nor will it benefit the small business in Ballymena struggling to source produce from their supplier in Birmingham.”

“What is needed is pragmatism and common sense solutions to resolve the issues as they are before us. This work is important. And it is ever more urgent.”

“It is only by making substantial progress across the whole range of difficulties that we can show people in Northern Ireland that the Protocol can work in a pragmatic, proportionate and sustainable way – as was always intended.”

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