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Both the UK gov't and European Commission issuing short statements following a call between UK PM Boris Johnson and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over the UK gov'ts release yesterday of a 'command paper' on the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

  • As expected, no major breakthrough, with the UK advocating flexibility and the EU saying no renegotiation is possible.
  • VdL: "PM Boris Johnson called to present the UK Command paper on the Irish/Northern Irish Protocol.
    The EU will continue to be creative and flexible within the Protocol framework. But we will not renegotiate. We must jointly ensure stability and predictability in Northern Ireland."
  • 10 Downing Street: "The PM set out the way the Protocol was currently operating was unsustainable. Solutions could not be found through the existing mechanisms of the Protocol. That was why we had to set out proposals for significant changes to it. He urged the EU to look at those proposals seriously and work with the UK on them. There is a huge opportunity to find reasonable, practical solutions to the difficulties facing people and businesses in Northern Ireland, and thereby to put the relationship between the UK and the EU on a better footing. They agreed to remain in touch."