Brexit minister Lord Frost vows answers on Northern Ireland Protocol in weeks

Screen grab of Lord Frost answering questions, via video link, in front of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol  on June 16 2021. Picture by House of Commons/PA Wire
Sam Blewett, PA Deputy Political Editor

Plans to resolve issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol will be detailed in the coming weeks, Brexit minister Lord Frost has said.

Downing Street’s negotiator with the European Union said today that the British Government will set out its proposals to MPs before the House of Commons rises for the summer recess on July 22.

He said “all options remain on the table” to resolve problems, including the trade barrier in the Irish Sea caused by the post-Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland.

Lord Frost said: “We are confident given everything that we’ve been through the last few years that there are ways of finding a new balance and finding the necessary adjustments.

“But obviously all options remain on the table for us.

“We’re considering our next steps, we’re discussing with all those with an interest and I can say today that we will set out our approach to Parliament in a considered way on these questions before the summer recess.”

The Tory peer said the UK would not be delivering an ultimatum to the EU with the plans.

Speaking at an event for the Policy Exchange think tank, he added: “There’s no deadlines here. We’re not putting something on the table and saying take it or leave it, or you must work to this particular timetable through setting our approach out to Parliament.”

Boris Johnson acknowledged yesterday that problems over the movement of chilled meats from Britain to Northern Ireland are still “far from fixed” following an agreement to delay the implementation of border checks.

He also acknowledged concerns among Northern Ireland’s Jewish community that they would be unable to access kosher foods unless it is resolved.

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