EU - UK Northern Ireland Protocol talks "not hugely productive", Lord Frost tells Parliament

Talks between the EU and UK on implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol have not been "hugely productive", Lord Frost told MPs on Parliament's European Scrutiny Committee.

He said he was hoping for progress in the next month, but the government will "have to see how far we can take it".

The protocol is the part of the Brexit deal which creates a trade border between Great Britain and NI.

In March, the UK delayed introducing some new border processes without EU agreement.

That led to the EU starting legal proceedings against the UK.

At the end of March, the UK sent a protocol "road map" to the EU, which sets out how the two sides should work together to implement the agreement.

It has formed a starting point for the current technical talks between officials.

Lord Frost said the protocol needs to be implemented in a "balanced and pragmatic" way.

''The fundamental problem for us is if the way the protocol is operating is undermining the Good Friday Agreement rather than supporting it then we obviously have a problem," he added.

"That wasn't what the protocol was meant to do and if it is doing it then it's not working right."

Earlier on Monday, an EU spokesman said: "We have been engaging intensively with our UK counterparts at expert level. These exchanges have been constructive, and we are making progress."

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