EU/UK Agreement On Trade Data Welcomed

Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP has welcomed an agreement on trade data sharing between the EU and the UK, saying that "trust is the key ingredient in finding a sustainable and mutually agreed way forward around the Northern Ireland Protocol".

The North Down MP was speaking after the UK and EU announced the, by allowing the EU to access UK IT systems. Both sides have said it means a new basis for further talks on the Protocol.

"This is a welcome development, which can hopefully unlock further progress over the coming weeks," said Dr Farry.

"Alliance wants to see a deal on the Protocol that maximises the opportunities, while minimising the challenges. Any deal must be mutually agreed, sustainable and legal. Our key requirement is Northern Ireland must retain dual market access.

"We have been stressing for many months trust is the key ingredient in the negotiations. The reduction in the level of checks across the Irish Sea essentially entails the EU subcontracting control of access to the Single Market to UK authorities. Data sharing will be a key aspect to this.

"The Protocol Bill, with its prospect of unilateral action, is completely at odds with building trust and confidence, and an effective partnership.

"Hopefully today’s agreement can be a turning point. However, we are under no illusion much works still needs to be done and there are reactionary forces mobilising to frustrate progress."

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