UK made ‘limited progress’ with EU on medicine supply to NI

Advertisement

David Frost said he and Maros Sefcovic will talk twice to steer the process, in the hope of making worthwhile progress towards agreed solutions before Christmas, reports Asian Lite News

British Brexit Minister David Frost said that the UK and the European Union (EU) have made limited progress on the post-Brexit supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

Frost had a video call with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic on Friday to wrap up this week’s talks about the Northern Ireland Protocol, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We have made further limited progress on medicines but we have not reached agreement,” Frost tweeted after the meeting.

“I underlined the need for movement on all the difficult issues created by the (Northern Ireland) Protocol, including customs, agrifood rules, subsidy policy, VAT/excise, & governance including the Court of Justice,” he added.

He confirmed intensive talks will continue in the coming week.

Frost said he and Sefcovic will talk twice to steer the process, in the hope of making worthwhile progress towards agreed solutions before Christmas.

As part of the Brexit deal, the Northern Ireland Protocol stipulates that Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market and customs union to avoid a hard border between the region and the Republic of Ireland.

However, this leads to a new “regulatory” border between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Britain and the EU view changing the protocol as a long-term solution to post-Brexit trade disruption in Northern Ireland.

Britain outlined its proposals in a government paper in July, which observers interpreted as an intention to renegotiate the protocol.

In response, the EU published its own package to facilitate the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland, including cutting customs formalities, simplified certification, and an 80 per cent reduction of checks on retail goods for Northern Ireland’s consumers.

It said it would guarantee an uninterrupted supply of medicine to the people of Northern Ireland, by changing EU rules.

ALSO READ: UK orders Europe’s “fastest trains” for over $2 Bn