SDLP Rural Communities Spokesperson Patsy McGlone has said the British government must return the EU’s act of good faith in negotiations over the Protocol.
Mr McGlone was speaking after the EU extended grace periods around the sale of veterinary medicines to the North from Britain.
Mr McGlone said the move would be a relief to those in the sector.
Mid Ulster MLA Mr McGlone said:
“The news of an extension for the grace period around purchasing veterinary medicines in the North will be warmly welcomed by those in the sector who had concerns around the availability of these products, with no permanent solution in place. Vets and our agricultural industry in particular rely on these medicines to keep animals safe and well and this move from the EU will provide certainty going forward as negotiations on the Protocol continue.
“Extending these grace periods is another act of good faith from the EU who have bent over backwards throughout the Brexit process to reach agreed solutions when issues have presented themselves. They have done much of the heavy lifting in these negotiations and it’s time that the British government respond in kind so that a deal can be struck on the Protocol in the near future.
“There has been a marked change in tone in relations between the British government and EU in recent months and we need to see this capitalised on with intense efforts to reach a solution that acknowledges the small number of issues still outstanding, while protecting the substantial economic benefits and protections the Protocol provides the North. It is clear the EU is willing to compromise to do what’s right for people here and the British government must meet them halfway.”