Published: Fri, 15 October 2021
Ireland South MEP and Leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly has outlined his support of the publication of new EU proposals in relation to the Northern Ireland protocol.
MEP Kelly said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič and his team for bringing forward these pragmatic proposals, aimed at alleviating much of the tension surrounding the protocol.
“The proposals cover medicines, SPS checks, as well as animals and food products. This package of measures is a clear indication that the European Commission are demonstrating a willingness to stretch themselves, adapt and to compromise in the interests of businesses, people and prosperity in Northern Ireland.
“Vice President Šefčovič’s announcement ensures that the integrity of the EU single market continues to be upheld, safeguards the Good Friday Agreement and crucially does not pose a threat to the constitutional or territorial status of the UK.
“The flexibility and rationalism of these proposals indicate a clear preparedness from the EU to be creative and resourceful when it comes to finding solutions to this issue. These proposals are all about achieving balance and ensuring that businesses across Northern Ireland continue to have dual market access to two of the world’s most lucrative trading blocs.
“I can now only hope that Boris Johnson, Lord Frost and indeed the leaders in Northern Ireland will engage earnestly with these proposals and see the significant opportunity which they provide. Moving forward, solutions need to be found through compromise at the negotiating table, not through unilateral action.”
Seán Kelly is the lead MEP for UK trade matters in the European Parliament and chair of the UK Monitoring Group