The Northern Ireland Protocol describes the special market arrangements that apply to NI, following the UK’s departure from the EU.
The Protocol provides for various easements and special measures, making it easier to move food and drink from GB to NI.
These are time-limited and were initially expected to cease at the end of September 2021. However, moving agri-food goods has proven difficult, raising concerns over the approaching deadline.
In July, the UK requested a “standstill” from the EU to allow for technical engagement. The EU agreed and also announced the suspension of associated legal action. Technical talks are proceeding.
The UK government has now stated that it will extend the deadline for the ending of easements, indefinitely, in order to allow for renegotiation of the Protocol.
The EU Commission has refused to consider full renegotiation, though it is prepared to continue to “engage constructively”.
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