We are ready! Frost issues fresh threat to EU over triggering Article 16 – urgent warning

Brexit: Liz Truss says countries 'want to work with' the UK

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The Brexit minister said there had not been enough progress on several issues in talks on protocol.

Lord Frost warned a breakthrough is “urgently” needed early next year.

In a statement today, Lord Frost said: “It is disappointing that it has not been possible to reach either a comprehensive or worthwhile interim agreement this year.

“A solution needs to be found urgently early next year.

“For as long as there is no agreed solution, we remain ready to use the Article 16 safeguard mechanism if that is the only way to protect the prosperity and stability of Northern Ireland and its people.”

Lord Frost’s comments come as he has been holding talks with his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic on the Brexit agreement for Northern Ireland.

The Brexit minister said the “main area of progress has been on medicine supply to Northern Ireland” but that there had been “much less progress” on customs and other arrangements for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Mr Sefcovic today outlined new EU legislation that he says will address concerns about medicine supplies between Great Britain and Northern Ireland being disrupted by the protocol.

At a press conference in Brussels, the European Commission vice-president said: “It gives me great pleasure to deliver today on one of the key pieces of our package – the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

“During my visit to Northern Ireland in September I promised to do whatever it takes to ensure a long lasting solution on medicines, all the more so in the light of the current pandemic.

“I kept my word and today the Commission is delivering in the form of a legislative proposal ensuring that everyone in Northern Ireland has access to the same medicines at the same time as in the rest of the United Kingdom.”


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