Provisional agreement between the UK and EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol is encouraging news but more detail is needed, Alliance MP and Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry has said.
The agreement in principle over issues including border controls will mean the UK Government withdrawing clauses from the Internal Market Bill.
“This is an encouraging development but we await further details tomorrow in Parliament and over the coming days,” said the North Down MP.
“Alliance has been lobbying both the UK Government and the EU Commission to push for a range of issues and complications arising from the Protocol to be addressed in a flexible and sympathetic manner. We are now looking for assurances this agreement between the UK and EU on the implementation of the Protocol will apply regardless of whether or not a wider trade deal is concluded. Such a trade deal would of course make the outworking of the Protocol much easier.
“This agreement is also coming close to the end of the transition period. We are continuing to advocate for a grace or adjustment period with respect to how the Protocol is implemented, as it is now too late for businesses to be ready for January 1.
“Ultimately, it is must be stated the Protocol is the consequence of the UK's decisions around Brexit and the resultant need to protect the Good Friday Agreement.”