Boris Johnson says UK must proceed with 'legislative solution' to Northern Ireland Protocol as an 'insurance' in case deal with EU is not reached

·2 min read

Boris Johnson has said the UK needs to "proceed with a legislative solution" to the Northern Ireland Protocol as an "insurance" in case a deal is not reached with Brussels.

Speaking on an official visit to Northern Ireland, the prime minister said he would "love" for tensions over the arrangement to be ironed out "in a consensual way with our friends and partners" in the EU.

But he added that the UK also needs the "insurance" of a "legislative solution at the same time".

Politics Hub: PM's meetings on Northern Ireland 'off to a rocky start'

Earlier today, Mr Johnson was accused of failing to give straight answers after meeting party leaders in Belfast to try to resolve a political impasse over the Northern Ireland Protocol - an arrangement designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Sinn Fein claimed the UK government had been coordinating with "obstructionist tactics" by its political opponents in the DUP who are unhappy with the protocol, which governs Northern Ireland's post-Brexit trading arrangements.

The PM told reporters that all five of Stormont's main parties had problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

"None of the parties - I spoke to all five parties just now - not one of them likes the way it's operating, they all think it can be reformed and improved - from Sinn Fein to SDLP, DUP, all of them," he said.

"The question is how do you do that? We would love this to be done in a consensual way with our friends and partners, ironing out the problems, stopping some of these barriers east-west.

"But to get that done, to have the insurance, we need to proceed with a legislative solution as well."

He continued: "He told broadcasters during a trip to Belfast: "We don't want to scrap it. But we think it can be fixed."

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