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EU Office: Belfast

Volume 676: debated on Wednesday 13 May 2020

What discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on the EU’s request to establish an office in Belfast. (902570)

I have regular discussions with the Executive on the protocol and wider matters, and I look forward to having further productive discussions with Ministers before the end of the transition period.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. But given the dismissive attitude of some in his Government on this particular issue, how can we in Northern Ireland have any confidence that he will faithfully implement the Northern Ireland protocol? Given all that is happening right now, is it not surely time to begin to agree to a transition period extension so that we can finally get a proper agreement on Brexit, which is, in our view, impossible to do at this time?

There is no reason why the European Commission should be requiring a permanent presence in Belfast to monitor the implementation of the protocol. We are focused on our determination to ensure that we fulfil all of our obligations to deliver on the protocol. The best way we can give certainty and confidence for business is to follow through and deliver on our promise to make sure that we leave and have everything in place at the end of December this year.