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The EU is continuing to seek "pragmatic" solutions to the problems facing implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, an EU diplomat said, in response to comments made by the UK's chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost that London was prepared to invoke the emergency Article 16 clause to suspend the agreement.

"If I understand correctly, the comments were made at a political conference of the Tory party," the source said."We stick to our line, we are looking for a pragmatic way of solving the problems of the Northern Ireland Protocol."

A Commission source echoed the theme, telling MNI: "Nothing new on our side, we are continuing to find solutions to the problems that matter most to people in Northern Ireland."