The EU’S Brexit coordinator declared that Great Britain and the EU must resolve problems over Northern Ireland trading using the protocol agreed between them, refusing Britain’s request to renegotiate it.
The vice-president Maros Sefcovic at the European Commision declared on his first trip to the British province that he was "absolutely convinced" a resolution could be agreed within the protocol.
"Let's focus on the concrete problem. Let's not try to renegotiate the protocol. This is definitely not our aim and I believe that we can find the good solution to the outstanding issues," Sefcovic said at a news conference.
He said he is willing to find out from politicians, business people and the general public what are the current problems caused by Brexit, and trusts there are all the means available to resolve them.
Within the protocol, Britain accepted to keep some EU rules in Northern Ireland and agreed with checks on goods arriving from elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
From the very beginning, the UK was doubtful in regards to the agreement and continues to want it amended.The protocol was designed to protect the EU's single market while avoiding checks on the border with the Irish Republic, an EU member.
Apart from disrupted trade, the protocol is considered to weaken Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom, and it has sparked anger in pro-British Protestant communities and helped fuel street violence earlier in the year.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson renewed his government's position, telling parliament that the protocol, as it was being applied, was not protecting the Good Friday peace agreement. "We must sort it out," he declared.
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