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EU boss rejects UK demand for renegotiation of Brexit deal in call with Boris Johnson

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European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has advised Boris Johnson in a cellphone call that the EU won’t renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol as he has demanded.

In a call the day after Brexit minister David Frost set out proposals for adjustments to the protocol Mr Johnson advised Ms von der Leyen that the best way it was at present being applied was “unsustainable”.

But quickly after the call, the Commission president made clear that Brussels stays implacably against reopening negotiations on the preparations agreed by the prime minister in 2019 as half of his EU withdrawal deal.

“The EU will continue to be creative and flexible within the protocol framework,” she stated. “But we will not renegotiate. We must jointly ensure stability and predictability in Northern Ireland.”

The face-off has set the scene for a expensive commerce battle in the autumn, when “grace periods” run out on the implementation of the laws agreed by Mr Johnson in areas similar to chilled meat exports, parcel supply and grocery store provides.

Downing Street as we speak made clear that the UK has not dominated out tearing up the protocol if the EU refuses to make concessions over the summer season.

A No 10 spokesperson stated: “We are not calling for the scrapping of the protocol at this time.”

Under repeated questioning, the spokesman was unable to level to any breaches by the EU of the phrases agreed by Mr Johnson in the protocol for the creation of a brand new customs border in the Irish Sea and the implementation of checks on items travelling between the British mainland and Northern Ireland.

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Instead, Downing Street is blaming the EU for working the brand new guidelines in an excessively “purist” manner.

The No 10 spokesperson stated that Mr Johnson advised the European Commission president that the best way his protocol was working was “unsustainable”, including that options to the issues going through the folks of Northern Ireland in consequence “could not be found through the existing mechanisms of the protocol”.

He advised Ms von der Leyen that this was why the UK has set out “proposals for significant changes to it”.

“He urged the EU to look at those proposals seriously and work with the UK on them,” stated the spokesperson. “There is a huge opportunity to find reasonable, practical solutions to the difficulties facing people and businesses in Northern Ireland, and thereby to put the relationship between the UK and the EU on a better footing. They agreed to remain in touch”.

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