UK to make statement on Northern Ireland protocol on Wednesday


FILE PHOTO: Flags of the Union Jack and European Union are seen ahead of the meeting of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Brussels, Belgium December 9, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's Brexit minister David Frost will make a statement to parliament on the Northern Ireland Protocol on Wednesday, parliamentary authorities said on Tuesday.

The protocol was agreed by Britain and the European Union as part of a 2020 Brexit deal, but has not been fully implemented yet and Britain says changes need to be made to make it work properly.

The statement will be made by Frost and repeated in the House of Commons by Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis, according to a tweet from the Leader of the House of Commons on Twitter.

Sources told Reuters on Monday that Britain would threaten this week to deviate from the Brexit deal unless the EU showed more flexibility over Northern Ireland.

Deviating from the protocol would be a risky step: its aim was to prevent Brexit from disrupting the delicate peace brought to Northern Ireland by the U.S.-brokered 1998 agreement that ended three decades of sectarian conflict.

Frost told lawmakers on Monday the protocol was not sustainable in its current form and that if an agreement could not be reached then London would consider all options, including unilateral action through Article 16 of the protocol.

(Reporting by William James. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)

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