Britain drops demand for removal of ECJ role from NI protocol

Negotiators made important shift in position recently, says senior British official

A senior British official characterised dropping Britain’s demand on the ECJ as a response to the European Commission’s move to change EU rules so that the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland can be guaranteed. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

A senior British official characterised dropping Britain’s demand on the ECJ as a response to the European Commission’s move to change EU rules so that the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland can be guaranteed. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

Britain has dropped its demand that the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) must be removed from the Northern Ireland protocol in its negotiations with the European Commission. A senior British government official said London still believed the protocol’s governance arrangements were unsustainable in the long term but acknowledged that the commission had no mandate to renegotiate the protocol.

The official said British negotiators had made an important shift in their position recently so they were no longer insisting on solving the governance issues now and were content to focus on the practical problems that have manifested themselves so far.

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