UK demands’ significant change’ of Northern Ireland trade rules

The United Kingdom’s Brexit Minister says the Northern Ireland Protocol is doing more harm than good – and is creating severe challenges in the region. Northern Ireland is the sole area where the UK and the European Union physically meet – along its 500km (310 miles) border with Ireland. Keeping that border open is a crucial part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the long-running conflict in Northern Ireland that killed more than 3,000 people. To avoid any physical border checkpoints, the ‘Protocol’ created a customs divide in the Irish Sea instead – which is inside the UK. The UK’s David Frost is adamant that it must change, and he revealed a proposal for a new, amended deal on Tuesday. However, reaction from the EU – set to unveil its own proposal on Wednesday – has been lukewarm at best.