Full negotiations are needed with the European Union to resolve issues with the deal governing post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Tuesday.
Last week, the EU rejected a British demand to renegotiate the Northern Ireland protocol, saying that to do so would only bring instability and uncertainty. Johnson’s spokesman said there had been “some elements of progress”.
The European Commission is expected to outline by the end of September plans that could ease the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland in an effort to ease tensions resulting from Brexit, EU diplomats said.
The EU rejected a UK demand to renegotiate the new trading position of the British province. But a deputy head of the bloc’s executive Commission, Maros Sefcovic, last week promised “creative and solid new solutions” under the current deal.
Under the so-called protocol, Britain agreed to leave some EU rules in place in Northern Ireland and accept checks on goods arriving there from the rest of the United Kingdom, in order to preserve an open land border with Ireland, an EU member state.
But London has since said that was not working and must be changed.
“We still feel that there needs to be a full negotiation and that needs to begin seriously and begin soon because it mustn’t mean the EU coming up with its own planned solutions and presenting them as take it or leave it,” he told reporters.