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An EU official said Wednesday that the latest proposals from the EU Commission to try and ease trade tensions with the UK around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol were not offered in a "take it or leave it" attitude, with the official noting the proposals were "significant and extremely far reaching" and would feed into talks with the UK, aimed at an "agreed solution".

UK Brexit Minister David Frost has insisted in public that the UK will not accept the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing the Protocol, but the EU official ruled out any renegotiation of the Protocol, which would be needed to make that possible, suggesting if the UK insist on its constitutional concerns then there remains a very big gap between the two.

"We hope for the best and prepare for the worst and we can't exclude that the UK will nevertheless use Article 16," the official added.