UK’s Johnson Calls for 'Fast' Solution to Issues With N. Ireland’s Post-Brexit Protocol

© REUTERS / CLODAGH KILCOYNESigns reading 'No Irish Sea border' and 'Ulster is British, no internal UK Border' are seen affixed to a lamp post at the Port of Larne, Northern Ireland, March 6, 2021. Picture taken March 6, 2021
Signs reading 'No Irish Sea border' and 'Ulster is British, no internal UK Border' are seen affixed to a lamp post at the Port of Larne, Northern Ireland, March 6, 2021. Picture taken March 6, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.10.2021
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LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Thursday for a "pretty fast" solution to issues with the protocol governing trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain since the UK left the European Union last year.
"We can't go on forever with this question because it's affecting real people, real lives, real businesses right now because of the way the protocol is being interpreted," Johnson told reporters during a visit to the UK province to attend events marking the centenary of the partition of the island of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.
As part of the Brexit agreement that came fully into force in January, there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but under the protocol all goods and animal-based products coming from the rest of the British territories must be checked upon arrival in the UK province to see if the comply with EU sanitary regulations.
Police and officials patrol as truckers carrying freight from Scotland disembark a ferry at the Port of Larne in County Antrim, Northern Ireland on January 1, 2021, as a new trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK began operating at 23:00 GMT on December 31, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.10.2021
UK, EU Facing 'Intensive Talks’ As Brussels Offers to Slash 80% of Northern Ireland Border Checks
The UK government has argued that the protocol is not working, as it causes delays and interruptions to goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and irritates loyalists to the British crown who believe their place within the union could be affected.
Last week, the EU offered to cut checks on food, plants and animal products by 80% and reduce paperwork for transport companies in half, but London replied that there is still a big gap, so the whole protocol needed to be renegotiated.
"We need to flush it out pretty fast and we need to change the causes of the problem and not the symptoms, and I think we need to move pretty fast," Johnson insisted on Thursday.
Following EU’s offer to slash down customs check on goods crossing the Irish Sea into Northern Ireland, London and Brussels began negotiations that are due to last until mid-November.
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