UK to extend Northern Ireland’s Brexit grace periods

LONDON/DUBLIN, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Britain plans to further extend post-Brexit grace periods on some goods imports to Northern Ireland, Brexit minister David Frost said on Monday, in a move designed to give London and Brussels more time for talks about trade with the province.

The fate of British-ruled Northern Ireland was the most contentious issue in Britain’s negotiations over its exit from the European Union, which was completed on Dec. 31, and it has continued to cause friction.

To avoid imposing a hard border on the island of Ireland, Britain agreed to leave some EU rules in place in its province of Northern Ireland and accept checks on goods arriving there from elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

London has since said the arrangement is not working and wants it changed, while the EU rejects renegotiating the treaty.

“To provide space for potential further discussions (with the EU), and to give certainty and stability to businesses while any such discussions proceed, the government will continue to operate the protocol on the current basis,” Frost said in a written ministerial statement.

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Source: Reuters