LONDON – The EU and the UK will continue to discuss how to ease the burden of post-Brexit trade rules on Northern Ireland, with both sides stressing their desire to keep the relationship “positive”.
European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss held their second meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss long-standing differences over the Northern Ireland protocol.
During the meeting, which took place in a “constructive atmosphere” according to a joint statement, the two leaders “reaffirmed their shared desire for a positive relationship between the EU and the UK, underpinned by our shared faith in freedom and democracy and cooperation on common global challenges”.
Šefčovič and Truss agreed that the EU-UK joint committee, which oversees the implementation of the Brexit divorce deal, should meet next month and agreed to take stock again next week.
The Northern Ireland Protocol was drawn up to protect the EU’s single market after Brexit while avoiding a politically sensitive hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, a member country of the EU.
The protocol proved deeply unpopular with Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland, while the British government argued that it caused unnecessary bureaucracy for goods transported from Britain to the region.
Separately, Šefčovič met with Spain’s foreign minister to discuss EU-UK talks on a treaty setting out a post-Brexit framework for Gibraltar’s relationship with the bloc. “Our European and Spanish teams continue to work hand in hand to move the negotiations forward,” the EU’s Brexit spokesperson said. tweeted.
You want more analysis of POLITICS? POLITICS Pro is our premium intelligence service for professionals. From financial services to trade, technology, cybersecurity and more, Pro delivers the real-time intelligence, in-depth insights and scoops you need to stay ahead. E-mail [email protected] to request a free trial.