Brexit: Can the Northern Ireland Protocol be tweaked?

Press quote (BBC News)
13 February 2021

Sam Lowe a trade policy expert at the Centre for European Reform, a broadly pro-EU think tank, also suggests a veterinary agreement.

He acknowledges it would restrict the UK's ability to accept American food standards as part of a future UK-US trade deal, but says it "would significantly reduce trade friction both within the UK, and with the EU, to the benefit of UK farmers."

But he also thinks the EU has room to often further flexibility.

As an example he suggests it could allow permanent derogations specific to the island of Ireland (potentially only for registered suppliers) allowing for chilled meat products, seed potatoes, soil and some other products to be imported from GB.

"As a distinct biosphere, separate from the rest of the EU, such island-of-Ireland-specific rules for food and plant products would be justifiable," he states.

At the moment the EU does not appear persuaded on major derogations of that sort.