An influential parliamentary committee has called for the extension of grace periods on full implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and “renewed dialogue” between the UK and the EU

A House of Lords report published on 27 July, authored by the Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, warned of a “feast or famine” economy in Northern Ireland created by the protocol, with some businesses thriving while others struggle.

In compiling the report – a follow-up to one published a year ago – the Lords Sub-Committee on the protocol heard evidence from businesses and politicians in Northern Ireland, the UK and the Irish Republic.

TSS importance stressed

The report noted business belief in the importance of the Trader Support Service (TSS), the UK government’s digital service automating customs checks on goods moving between GB and NI, and the Movement Assistance Scheme for moving agri-food goods, in facilitating trade between GB and NI.

Witnesses noted that both schemes have been “critical in providing certainty and simplicity, where possible, and affordability” and that SMEs in particular were reliant on the TSS.

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