Northern Ireland news

Poots presses Frost on Protocol during Balmoral Show visit

Edwin Poots, George Eustice and Lord Frost pictured at the Balmoral Show on Thursday
Staff Reporter

AGRICULTURE minister Edwin Poots has called on the UK's Brexit minister to find "long-term and permanent solutions" to the Northern Ireland Protocol during a visit to the Balmoral Show.

The DUP minister and former short-lived leader met Lord Frost along with the British agriculture secretary George Eustice yesterday at the annual Balmoral Show in Lisburn, and spoke to the pair about his party's ongoing opposition to the Protocol, including claims it was damaging the agriculture industry.

"I took the opportunity during our tour, to once again stress the difficulties the NI Protocol is having on this prized industry and just how unworkable on the ground it really is," Mr Poots said.

"The friction-free movement of goods and animals between GB and NI is one of the corner stones of our economy and the current requirements of the NI Protocol place an unnecessary burden on the agri-food sector. This must change if our agri-food industry is to be able to trade on a level playing field."

He added: "I am urging Mr Eustice, Lord Frost and the European Union to find pragmatic, long-term and permanent solutions to the NI Protocol, which is unworkable in its current form. Retailers, businesses, the food sector and the general public have all raised concerns about it from the beginning and their concerns must be addressed."

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