NEW proposals are to be brought forward next week on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič has told a conference in Dublin that he hopes the “far reaching” proposals will trigger intense discussions with the UK.
The protocol is the agreement between the UK and EU following Brexit, which is intended to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
However it has caused problems for the flow of goods between the UK and NI, with unionist parties critical of the position because they say it undermines the country’s status as part of the United Kingdom.
Mr Šefčovič told the Institute of International and European Affairs today that both the UK and EU had to move out of their comfort ones, but the plans would not be presented on a “take it or leave it basis”.
This week at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, the UK Brexit minister Lord David Frost said the protocol was “not working and needs to change”.
He had earlier suggested triggering article 16, which would suspend part of the deal, saying it could be the “only way” forward.
This has been rejected by Mr Šefčovič, who warned that the approach would be unhelpful.