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NI Protocol issues raised at north-south meeting
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NI Protocol issues raised at north-south meeting

 

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The first minister says SLOTXO a window of opportunity now exists to address issues caused by the Northern Ireland
Protocol.

 

Paul Givan spoke after a virtual meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council today.

 

He said the British government recognised the harm it had caused and the EU had suspended legal action.

 

The Protocol was not on the meeting's agenda, but was raised by Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill.

 

The Sinn Féin vice president said she had raised it because of concerns coming into autumn when the so called grace
periods are due to end.

 

She added that those who helped deliver the hardest possible Brexit "have to shoulder some of the responsibility for
where we are".

 

Mr Givan said there now needs to be "constructive engagement" between the two sides.

 

"Obviously the Irish Government have a very important role in influencing how the European Union conducts is
approach to addressing those issues," he said.

 

"The DUP want to see progress over the coming months. There's a window of opportunity for that to happen.

 

"But where East-West relationships are damaged at a political, economical societal level, of course, that has
a knock-on effect when it comes to the way in which the Belfast Agreement was very carefully constructed."

 

The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed by the UK and EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

 

It does that by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU's single market for goods.

 

That has created a new trade border in the Irish Sea, causing some difficulties in moving goods from Great Britain
to Northern Ireland.



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