Dublin visit from European Commission president puts Northern Ireland Protocol on table

Fri 16 Jul 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Ursula von der Leyen visits Dublin today and will discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol with Taoiseach (prime minister) Micheál Martin. 

The Independent reports that the president of the European Commission will cover the Covid pandemic response, economic recovery, and digital and climate transformations, as well as ongoing work to implement the protocol.

Von der Leyen is expected to endorse Ireland’s recovery plan, which the Irish government said will provide a sustainable, equitable, green and digital recovery effort, according to RTE.

Trade trouble

Her visit comes after Brexit minister Lord Frost told a parliamentary subcommittee that businesses were abandoning trade with Northern Ireland because the Brexit agreement had made it “too much trouble”, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

An outcome of the problems of moving goods from GB to NI has been a surge in cross border trade, between NI and the Republic, said Frost.

In the first quarter of 2021, Northern Ireland exports to the Republic of Ireland were up by 60% to more than €1bn (£859m), reports the BBC.

Changing sources

Goods trade across the Irish border are free of the checks and controls of goods arriving from GB, prompting some businesses to source more products on the island of Ireland.

According to the Express, Frost also hit out at Brussels for levelling more than 800 new pieces of regulation upon Northern Ireland without notice.