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Minister Coveney welcomes publication of EU proposals on the Northern Ireland protocol

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., has strongly welcomed the publication of EU proposals in relation to the Northern Ireland protocol.

Minister Coveney said:

“I want to thank Vice-President Šefčovič and his team for the many months of work that have gone into producing this package of proposals. This is a major effort by the EU to address concerns raised around the protocol.

“The European Commission has listened to the concerns of the people of Northern Ireland and has produced far-reaching proposals that comprehensively address the practical, genuine issues that matter most to them.

“The EU’s proposals follow months of hard work and careful listening across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland and with the business and citizens most impacted. Where challenges were identified, the EU found creative, credible and durable solutions.

“The Commission’s package respects the fine balance at the heart of the Protocol: protecting the Good Friday agreement, avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland while at the same time protecting EU consumers and the integrity of the EU’s single market.

“These bespoke solutions make it easier for Northern Irish businesses to move goods into Northern Ireland while at the same time continuing to benefit from all the advantages of full access to the EU single market.
“These proposals represent a real opportunity for Northern Ireland. People in Northern Ireland – especially those in the business community – want the Protocol to work well. They see the very real opportunities presented by the Protocol and want these to be fully realised.

“We welcome David Frost’s comments that he will engage seriously, fully and positively with the Commission. The package provides a pathway to resolving all the outstanding issues. Now is the time for the UK Government to engage constructively on the practical solutions being put forward by the Commission to the issues that matter most to the people of Northern Ireland.”

ENDS

Press Office

13 October 2021

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