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A UK Government spokesperson said: “We have received the letters from the European Commission and will respond in due course.
“We’ve been clear that the measures we have taken are temporary, operational steps intended to minimise disruption in Northern Ireland and protect the everyday lives of the people living there.
“They are lawful and part of a progressive and good faith implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Low key operational measures like these are well precedented and common in the early days of major international treaties. In some areas, the EU also seems to need time to implement the detail of our agreements.
“This is a normal process when implementing new treaties and not something that should warrant legal action.
“These aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol have only been in force for 70 days and we saw the challenges faced by supermarkets and others in the early weeks of January as a result of the Joint Committee agreement only being reached in December.
“That’s why it is right to provide a proper further period for them to plan ahead, particularly in the current circumstances of a global pandemic.”
“All sides need to keep in mind the fact that the Protocol depends on cross-community consent and confidence if it is to work and deliver our common objective of protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimensions, North-South and East-West.
“We look to continue discussing the issues within the Joint Committee framework in a constructive fashion.”
More to follow…
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