Update from PM’s call with First Minister Arlene Foster over NI Protocol
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister of Northern Ireland had discussions today (Wednesday 3 February) to discuss difficulties and tensions surrounding the implementation of the NI Protocol.
The NI Protocol was agreed between the UK and EU during Brexit negotiations to deal with goods flowing between GB and NI. Spokesperson for the Prime Minister stated:
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster this morning.
“They spoke about the EU’s actions from Friday and their shared concern that the processes set out in the Protocol were ignored.
“The Prime Minister restated his commitment to Northern Ireland as an integral part of our Union and underlined that we would do everything we could to ensure trade continues to flow effectively right across our United Kingdom.
“He welcomed the First Minister’s engagement with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and urged that this coordinated work continues to ensure that the Protocol works in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.
“The Prime Minister said that we needed urgent action from the EU to resolve outstanding problems with Protocol implementation, so as to preserve the gains of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and to ensure that Northern Ireland benefits in full from the UK’s exit from the EU.
“They agreed to keep in touch.”
After the meeting First Minister Arlene Foster commented:
“The Prime Minister said that he would use all the instruments at his disposal, including that he “is prepared to use Article 16” to get things done and to legislate if necessary.”