The European Union (EU) rejected the United Kingdom’s demand to change the Northern Ireland protocol.
The British administration detailed its legislative intentions to modify the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement in The Queen’s speech delivered by Prince Charles on Tuesday.
The EU immediately rejected the demand and said that “The Protocol, as a cornerstone of the Withdrawal Agreement, is an international agreement. Its renegotiation is not an option.”
The Northern Ireland protocol is an agreement made by the British and Irish administrations, as well as the majority of Northern Ireland’s political parties on how Northern Ireland should be governed.
The European Commission’s vice president, Maroš Šefčovič explained that the UK government should demonstrate “creativity” and “determination” instead of threatening unilateral action.
“The EU has been open to joint work with the UK on implementing the Protocol to bring long-term legal certainty and predictability to the people and businesses in Northern Ireland. The EU remains open to such discussions. Only joint solutions will work.” said Šefčovič.
Šefčovič insisted that solutions can be made without the modification of the Northern Ireland protocol, as evidenced by the fact that Northern Ireland has access to the same medicines as the rest of the UK.
“With political will and genuine commitment, joint solutions to legitimate practical issues raised by people and businesses in Northern Ireland can be found within the framework of the Protocol,” expressed Šefčovič.
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