Government unilaterally extends NI Protocol grace periods

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street - Credit: PA

The UK government has unilaterally extended some grace periods associated with the NI Protocol in a bid to avoid a cliff-edge plunge into extra paperwork.

The protocol is a post-Brexit arrangement designed to keep the Irish border open by ensuring Northern Ireland continues to follow the EU’s trading rules.

The DUP has vowed to overthrow it over fears it damages the integrity of the UK internal market and Northern Ireland’s place in it.

Graffiti with the word “Traitors” has been sprayed on DUP offices in the port town of Larne shared by East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera), Gordon Lyons.

Wilson has been a vociferous critic of the protocol while Lyons has suspended construction on permanent border posts required as part of the UK’s withdrawal deal from the EU.

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Other graffiti in the unionist town of Larne said “DUP Out” and “RIP GFA”, a reference to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal.

A number of anti-protocol signs have also been erected around the town.

It follows claims from the DUP that the Jewish community is struggling to get kosher meat in time for the Passover festival due to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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