Brexit talks breakthrough after 'best two weeks of negotiation' between UK and EU


    Brexit talks have made “progress” after “are the best two weeks of negotiation that we’ve seen since the start of the year”, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said. Speaking to reporters this afternoon he said both the UK and EU were committed to finding a solution to frictions caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    But he dashed hopes of an imminent deal, saying that the proposed deadline of October 28 was “not realistic”.

    The DUP has refused to take its place in Northern Ireland’s devolved government in protest at the problems caused by the Protocol.

    Legally fresh elections to the Stormont parliament must be held if there is not a working devolved government by the end of the month.

    Mr Coveney of Brexit talks: “Yes they have made some progress.

    READ MORE: May’s Festival of Brexit ‘frittered away’ £120m of taxpayers cash

    “These are the best two weeks of negotiation that we’ve seen since the start of the year.”

    He added: “I think there is now in place the start of a process that I hope can deliver through negotiation, but it is just too early to tell whether that is going to be possible or not.”

    Unionists argue the Northern Ireland Protocol undermines the province’s position in the United Kingdom by forcing bureaucratic customs checks to be carried out on goods crossing the Irish Sea.

    They also object to the European Court of Justice acting as the final arbiter of disputes between the UK and EU.

    While ruling out hopes of a deal in the next fortnight, Mr Coveney said he believed there would be “a step forward” on contentious issues by the end of October

    “The next number of months are not going to be talking around in circles, like we have seen in the last number of years,” he added.

    Gibraltar and UK stand firm on future of Rock ahead of EU talks [UPDATE]
    ‘Bitter Remainers’ mocked as they ‘still can’t accept’ Brexit [REACTION]
    UK in danger of ‘brain drain’ as top scientists blocked from EU funds [UPDATE]

    Negotiations on finding a solution to the problems caused by the Protocol first began in October 2021.

    However, they broke down earlier this year after both Britain and Brussels refused to compromise on their red lines.

    Talks at an official level restarted after Liz Truss became Prime Minister last month.

    Signalling a less hard-line approach, last week Deputy Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar admitted the Protocol was “too strict”.

    “The protocol is not being fully implemented and yet it is still working.

    “I think that demonstrates there is some room for further flexibility, for changes that hopefully will make it acceptable to all sides,” he said.

    “I would concede that perhaps the Protocol, as it was originally designed, was a little too strict.”

    At the same time, Ms Truss is reported to have softened on her demands the European Court of Justice be removed from its role of overseeing the Protocol.

    However, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said earlier this week: “Our view remains that it is inappropriate for a court of the EU to remain the supreme arbiter of law in Northern Ireland.”


    Previous article'Perfection!' Queen Letizia pays homage to Spain in mint green dress and stilettos
    Next articleBank holiday for King Charles' coronation now 'on the table' after MPs' rallying call


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here