The European Union’s Brexit coordinator rejected Britain’s latest demand to renegotiate post-Brexit protocols on trading with Northern Ireland.
EU Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič said that he was “absolutely convinced” that issues within the protocol can be solved.
“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,” Šefčovič said.
In the protocol, the United Kingdom agreed to leave some EU rules in Northern Ireland prior to Brexit, requiring checks on British cargo as they arrive on Irish borders.
London has since tried to renegotiate the terms of the settlement as it has caused difficulties for British businesses, and unionists argued that it threatens Northern Ireland’s place in the U.K.
The EU consistently expressed no intention of renegotiating the settlement, although Šefčovič has arrived in Belfast on Sep. 8 to hear about the protocol’s difficulties.
Šefčovič said that he aims in his visit to listen to the problems Northern Ireland is facing, “because of the consequences of Brexit and the type of Brexit chosen by the U.K. government.”
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