“A negotiated settlement is very much our preferred option, but until then the bill is still going through Parliament.
“However, what has changed is that since February, all the time this topic is in play there is a full-blown land war in Europe going on.
“That’s what has really focused the minds of all involved in this Northern Ireland issue, to try to get it done.”
An EU source also told the publication: “We are ready to go.”
Mr Heaton-Harris on Friday defended the UK’s right to push ahead with the bill, but said it would be a redundant piece of legislation if a deal was struck.
Mr Coveney said his Government was looking for a nil-all draw in negotiations between the UK and the EU to resolve the row over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
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