Northern Ireland news

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council rejects bid to invite senior EU and UK officials as it reaffirms opposition to protocol

Threatening graffiti that appeared in Larne last month

MID and East Antrim Borough Council has voted against a proposal to invite top EU official Maros Šefcovic and senior British government minister Lord Frost to the borough to highlight difficulties faced by a “hard Brexit”.

Alliance councillors called for the invite, saying it would be “a vehicle to identify how council could assist in overcoming the difficulties and seeking acceptable, workable solutions”.

The port of Larne is in the borough,

However, the unionist-dominated local authority passed a motion “affirming the council's opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol”.

The council will also write to the agriculture minister Gordon Lyons and Food Standards Agency setting out difficulties faced by the council in “implementing its obligations" under the protocol.

The council employs 12 environmental health officers to assist with checks at the port.

Last month, they were withdrawn by the council over concerns for their security but returned to their duties four days later.

The PSNI later said there was nothing to indicate loyalist paramilitary involvement or that workers' car registrations had been taken.

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