Belfast, Sep 11 (IANS) European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic has called for compromise from the UK and the European Union (EU) in the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Sefcovic made the comment on Friday when speaking at Queen’s University in Belfast during his two-day visit to Northern Ireland, reports Xinhua news agency.
He said the overarching priority has always been the people of Northern Ireland and the protection of the peace process.
“As you know, the UK published their command paper on July 21. And we have been engaging constructively with our UK partners on what can be done to limit the impact of the protocol on everyday life in Northern Ireland, while maintaining its access to the EU’s single market.
“The EU and the UK must continue these discussions in order to reach an understanding,” Sefcovic added.
Northern Ireland is at the centre of the post-Brexit trade dispute between the UK and the EU.
As part of the Brexit deal, the Northern Ireland Protocol stipulates that Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market and customs union to avoid a hard border between the region and the Republic of Ireland.
However, this leads to a new “regulatory” border between Britain and Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson said on Thursday that the full impact of the protocol has not yet been felt partly because of the grace period, and warned against any future additional checks at the ports in region that arise from the protocol.