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Šefčovič welcomes change of tone from UK side

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After a further week of discussions, European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič welcomed the change in tone from the UK side following his meeting with the UK’s minister with responsibility of relations with the EU, Lord Frost. 

Šefčovič said that next week a laser-like focus would be given to the question of medicines and the other practical issues that have been highlighted by Northern Irish stakeholders. 

He said: “My message has been clear and consistent – the European Union is committed to finding practical solutions for the people and stakeholders in Northern Ireland; our package is a direct response to concerns they raised and makes a tangible difference.”

Šefčovič says that the EU now expects to reciprocate the EU’s efforts, preserving stability and predictability to Northern Ireland, “a key ingredient for the local economy to flourish”. So that the enhanced opportunities that the Protocol and the EU's package provide are realized.

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Lord Frost issued a statement after the meeting saying that it was the UK’s preference to find a consensual way forward. Nevertheless, Frost maintained his threat of using Article 16 safeguards, all be it cushioned as “a legitimate part of the Protocol’s provisions”.

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