Brexit: Simon Coveney shut down by host on UK-US trade deal
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The trading Protocol protects the Good Friday Agreement, agreed in 1998, to ensure peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland after the Troubles. US President Joe Biden and his administration officials are monitoring the political situation in Northern Ireland closely over the Post-Brexit trading arrangements.
The US President, who is proud of his Irish heritage, has explicitly expressed US support for the Protocol and wants a practical solution agreed.
But Brexit minister Lord Frost is expected to outline a strategy that seeks to eliminate most checks on goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a move which could inflame tensions between London and Brussels.
A White House source said: “We are very much aware that there have been challenges over its [the Protocol’s] implementation.
“This is something that the UK and the EU need to resolve.
“We believe the most effective way forward is a pragmatic one that provides political stability and economic prosperity for all of the people in Northern Ireland.
“President Biden is certainly interested in having strong relations with both the UK and the EU and we hope that they’re able to find ways to work well together in the interest of the people of Northern Ireland.”
The Protocol was negotiated as part of Britain’s divorce from Brussels to avoid a hard border with Ireland, by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
But the introduction of checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea has angered Unionists, who have protested against it in recent months, arguing the Brexit terms have weakened Northern Ireland’s links with the rest of the UK.
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8am update: M&S warns of product shortages at Christmas due to NI Protocol
Marks & Spencer’s chairman warned some products will be excluded from Northern Ireland’s shelves this Christmas due to problems with the post-Brexit agreement on the region.
Archie Norman, who has requested a meeting with Brexit minister Lord Frost, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Northern Ireland Protocol will cause “gaps on the shelves”.
“This Christmas, I can tell you already, we’re having to make decisions to delist product for Northern Ireland because it’s simply not worth the risk of trying to get it through,” the former Tory MP said.
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