You may have seen the press coverage around changes to the NI Protocol over the past few days.
On Tuesday 12 October, Lord Frost spoke about how we must fix the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and safeguard peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland at all costs.
On Wednesday 13 October the EU published its response to the Command Paper, setting out some possible concessions to the Protocol.
The detail of the EU proposals will be now looked at, and a series of intensive talks, to determine whether there is common ground to find a solution. The aim is to do this as quickly as possible. But, as Lord Frost set out, significant changes which tackle the fundamental issues at the heart of the Protocol, including governance, must be made if we are to agree a durable settlement which commands support in Northern Ireland and safeguards the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.
What does this mean?
- None of the reported changes, or documents published this week by either party, on the Northern Ireland Protocol have yet been agreed. Both UK and EU have shared proposals with each other, and discussions continue.
- Existing arrangements will continue for now.
- Traders should continue to meet the requirements of the Protocol as currently being operated, if your members ask please remind them that existing processes remain in place, and supplementary declarations should continue to be submitted
- Businesses without their own fixed address in Northern Ireland can continue to be authorised for the UK Trader Scheme, provided they meet the other existing UKTS requirements
- The existing approach to post and parcels movements from GB to NI will continue.
- The Government will ensure that reasonable notice is provided if the current approach changes, to enable businesses to make appropriate preparations.