© Reuters. Northern Ireland’s First Minister Foster talks during a television interview outside the Stormont Parliament building in Belfast


BELFAST (Reuters) – There was no breakthrough at a “hugely disappointing” meeting between the European Commission and the British government on Wednesday over post-Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland, the region’s first minister, Arlene Foster, said on Wednesday.

The British government is demanding concessions from the European Union to minimise disruption in trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom that have emerged since Britain left the bloc’s trading orbit in January.

The European Union has said it will be pragmatic in seeking solutions, but has blamed the disruption on Britain’s decision to exit the European Union and has called for London to implement measures agreed.

Foster, who attended the online meeting between European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic and British minister Michael Gove, said there had been “no breakthrough”.

“I can’t say I am surprised given the attitude of the EU to the protocol,” she told Northern Irish broadcaster UTV.

The Northern Ireland Protocol of Britain’s EU withdrawal deal effectively left the British province of Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market, and put a customs border in the Irish Sea dividing the province from mainland Britain.

Foster, who has supported the British demands for concessions, said Sefcovic refused a short extension of certain post-Brexit grace periods. She did not say what exactly Britain had asked for.

Foster said she wanted the protocol to be replaced at least in part. “We are not asking for the impossible at all,” she said.

READ  Under Donald Trump, Black Americans continue to trail whites in employment, home ownership

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, a member of Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein who also attended the meeting, was more positive.

“Both sides restated their commitment to finding practical solutions,” she said in a statement.

“I encouraged intensified efforts to find practical solutions to any problems within the framework of the Protocol, which is part of a legal-binding treaty and not going away, something which all parties must recognise,” she added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here