Lord Frost and Maros Sefcovic to hold more talks over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit deal
The latest round of talks between the UK and European Union aimed at resolving differences over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit arrangements will take place on Friday.
Brexit Minister Lord Frost and European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic will meet in London to discuss potential changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The pair have had a regular series of meetings in recent weeks as talks have intensified over the dispute.
A No 10 spokesman said: “They will meet again to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol as we seek to try and reach consensus and agree a deal that can address the issues that we know people are facing on the ground.”
The UK has not ruled out the use of Article 16 of the protocol – unilaterally scrapping some of its rules – because of the impact on Northern Ireland. International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has suggested that option would not be used before Christmas.
The protocol effectively places Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods to help avoid a hard border with Ireland.
But this has led to checks on goods crossing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, creating a barrier to trade within the UK.
The meeting between Lord Frost and Mr Sefcovic also comes a time of strained relations over post-Brexit licences to fish in UK waters, with French fishermen set to protest on Friday over the issue.
While the talks in London are expected to focus on Northern Ireland, Downing Street said the “wide-ranging” discussion would also look at “other areas that affect both us and the commission”.