'Sort it out!' Boris rages at Merkel over cancer drugs being BLOCKED across UK by EU


    The UK and the European Union have been at loggerheads over Brussels’ “purist” reading of the protocol agreed between the two parties as part of the Brexit trade agreement struck last December. The British Government has denounced the strict interpretation as creating major disruption between mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which effectively remains in both the single market and the customs union. Boris Johnson picked up on the issue during a joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to the UK this Friday.

    The Prime Minister said: “One of the things we’re talking about is the protocol, where there remain a lot of issues to be solved.

    “It remains extraordinary 20 percent of external checks conducted on the perimeter of the whole EU takes place in Northern Ireland.

    “I think it’s extraordinary 30 drugs, including cancer drugs, are currently forbidden from moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

    “To say nothing of the problem with chilled meats.”

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    Mr Johnson added: “Imagine if bratwurst could not be moved from Dortmund to Dusseldorf because of the jurisdiction of a European court.

    “You would think it extraordinary.”

    Chancellor Merkel said she was optimistic that the three-month extension to the grace period for shipments of certain meat products from Britain to Northern Ireland would give enough time for a durable solution to be found.

    “It is good news that it is extended for three months and in that time it should be possible to solve this pragmatically. I am optimistic that it will be possible.”

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    Without directly addressing a question on whether the Northern Ireland protocol regulating the British territory’s relationship with Ireland and the European Union could be changed, she said pragmatic solutions were needed.

    Mrs Merkel added: “I personally believe that within the framework of this Northern Ireland protocol… we can find pragmatic solutions.”

    Brussels earlier this week agreed to a three-month extension to the grace period currently limiting the number of checks border forces have to carry out on goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

    The Brexit trade agreement the UK and the EU struck last year effectively left the nation subject to European Union trading rules, setting it apart from the rest of the UK.

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    Mrs Merkel also responded cautiously when asked if British prime ministers should in the future be invited to European Union summits as part of a plan to repair ties damaged by Brexit, saying things should be taken “step by step”.

    The German Chancellor said that the immediate priority was to find a durable solution to the row over the status of Northern Ireland with respect to the EU single market and Ireland.

    After that, she said, “we will see” where Britain-EU relations can develop to.


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