Ireland expects Britain to announce further extensions to post-Brexit grace periods on goods imports into both Northern Ireland and into the rest of the United Kingdom, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said on Monday.
“The expectation is that the United Kingdom will announce a further extension of the grace periods, not just in relation to Northern Ireland but also imports from the EU and Ireland into the UK,”
Varadkar was speaking to RTÉ following a meeting in London with Britain's cabinet office minister Michael Gove, who he said had told him that Britain “doesn't want to walk away from the protocol but does want to make it more workable.”
Leo Varadkar told News at One earlier "I think the business community, north and south, will welcome any extension, however it's important that we use the period of any extension that may occur really to get down to business and to try to put in place more permanent arrangements."
“Certainly meeting Michael Gove this morning, Chancellor Lancaster really had the sense and assurance from him that the UK government doesn't want to walk away from the Protocol, but does want to make it more workable particularly for businesses in Northern Ireland and consumers too.
“That's very much our agenda as well, but as I said to him there is only so far that we can go, any solution has to be within the confines of the existing agreement.”
Very constructive meeting with @michaelgove this morning on first in-person Irish trade mission to GB in 2 years, on #business, #jobs, and the Protocol. Next up meeting with #LondonStockExchange #trade #newnormal pic.twitter.com/RJ1RWLbZZe
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) September 6, 2021
Additional reporting by Vivenne Clarke