Discussions between London and Brussels on the Northern Ireland question – 09/01/2023 at 01:17

LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will receive European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic in London on Monday in a bid to relaunch talks with the European Union to resolve a dispute over his post-Brexit business relationship.

The technical discussions on the protocol on Northern Ireland resumed last October between British and European representatives, fueling the hope in London and parts of the EU that an agreement will be reached on this issue that has strained relations between the two blocks since their divorce.

Established in the context of Brexit three years ago, the Northern Ireland protocol provides for border checks on certain goods delivered to the province from the rest of the UK.

If no progress is expected immediately, Monday’s meeting is seen as a possible boost for negotiations between London and Brussels. The British Foreign Office has indicated that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, will be present.

(Andrew MacAskill report; French version by Jean Terzian)

Vince Fernandez

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