The European Union and the United Kingdom today held their ninth meeting of the Specialised Committee on the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland by videoconference.
The EU recalled that the Withdrawal Agreement is an international agreement and that the Protocol is the agreed solution between the UK and the EU to the problems caused by Brexit for the island of Ireland. Both sides are legally bound to fulfil their obligations under the Agreement. The EU reiterated that it would not renegotiate the Protocol.
The EU side took note of the fact that some progress has been made regarding real-time access to relevant databases and recalled the need that all work should be finalised by the end of the year.
The EU expressed its concerns regarding the lack of progress on Border Control Posts, as well as the issue of export declarations from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
The EU updated the UK on the ongoing work to implement flexibilities regarding the movement of live animals between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The EU and the UK also took stock of last week’s meeting of the Joint Consultative Working Group.
Finally, both parties agreed to continue joint engagement with business groups, civil society and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland.
The Commission confirmed that it will soon come forward with a package of measures, within the framework of the Protocol, addressing the issues that matter most to the people of Northern Ireland, including on medicines.
Both sides have agreed to remain in contact next week to follow up on today’s meeting.
The Specialised Committee on the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of the six Specialised Committees established under the Withdrawal Agreement. Its role is to facilitate the implementation and application of this Protocol and make recommendations to the Joint Committee as regards the functioning of the Protocol.