Positive Movement on N. Irish Protocol, EU’s McGuinness Says

There is “positive movement” on the Northern Irish protocol, with the U.K. having said they’re open to discussions, according to EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness.

The U.K. wrote to the EU last week and said “they’re open and they will want to discuss extending the deadline in relation to processed meats from the end of June into September,” McGuinness said on Monday at speech for an event hosted by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.

“That is now being considered by the Commission, and will be given careful consideration.”

Under the terms of the Brexit divorce treaty, chilled meats and fresh sausages would be barred from entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K from July 1. That’s because Northern Ireland must follow EU health and safety rules, which don’t permit the import of such products. The U.K. wants the change deferred to Sept. 30.

Away from the Northern Ireland issue, “we’re still not yet at the place where we will sit down and look at” issues including granting so-called equivalence decisions that would enable European business to be done from London, McGuinness said.

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