06:36 GMT25 July 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Brexit Minister David Frost said on Thursday that the United Kingdom will not deliver an ultimatum to the European Union to solve the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol, but insisted that the bloc should consider more pragmatic solutions.

    “There’s no deadlines here. We’re not putting something on the table and saying take it or leave it, or you must work to this particular timetable through setting our approach to Parliament”, Frost said at a Policy Exchange think tank event.

    As part of the Brexit agreement, Northern Ireland remained in the European single market and customs unions after the United Kingdom left the bloc for good on 31 December 2020.

    Although there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, all goods and animal-based products coming from the rest of the British territories must be checked upon arrival to Northern Ireland to comply with EU sanitary regulations, leading to delays in the arrival of products and protests from unionists loyal to London.

    On 30 June, London and Brussels avoided the so-called 'sausage war' by agreeing to extend the grace period for chilled meat coming from Great Britain to the British territory until 30 September.

    According to Frost, who led the UK´s team in post-Brexit talks with the EU, resolving the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol is fundamental to getting the relationship back on track.

    He warned, however, that Brussels must drop its “ideological” approach to the issue and look for more pragmatic solutions.

    "We are sometimes accused of being ideological for not accepting that but actually the ideological thing is to say the only solution to these problems is that we should adopt EU law and that is simply a non-starter", Frost stressed.

    The minister, who addressed the event alongside the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, also announced that the government is considering its next steps and will set out its approach on the Protocol to the British Parliament before the 22 July summer recess.

    Tags:
    protocol, Northern Ireland
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