Friday 10 September 2021 11:00 am

Brexit: EU boss Sefcovic warns Northern Ireland protocol haggling will prompt 'instability'

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic today said the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol – a policy of trade checks for good moving between Great Britain and the EU via the island of Ireland – must be “properly implemented”.

The Brussels representative also warned the UK that any renegotiation of the Northern Ireland Protocol would cause “instability, uncertainty and unpredictability”.

Sefcovic said: “The implementation of this agreement will continue to require compromise from both sides,” at a speech in Belfast this morning.

Earier this week the UK announced indefinite delays to the implementation of new post-Brexit checks in Northern Ireland.

Defacto Brexit minister Lord David Frost said the EU had agreed to an effective “standstill” to the Brexit treaty’s Northern Ireland Protocol, which will mean a delay to checks on things like meat, fish and dairy products going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

This morning Sefcovic said: “While the negotiations were difficult, their outcome now presents a real opportunity for Northern Ireland.

“And all the exchanges here have only strengthened my conviction that enormous benefit can be extracted from its unparalleled access to two of the world’s largest markets with more than 500 million consumers – a powerful magnet for foreign investment, translated into jobs and growth.”

He added: “But if we are to turn this opportunity into reality, the protocol must be properly implemented.”