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Seeking Northern Ireland solution, UK foreign minister hosts EU talks

On Monday (9 January), James Cleverly, British foreign minister, tried to give momentum for EU talks on resolving post-Brexit trade disputes. He hosted Maros Seselovic (vice president of the European Commission) in London.

Britain and the EU are becoming more optimistic about a solution to their long-running dispute that has dominated their relations ever since the United Kingdom left three year ago.

Officials resumed technical discussions in October about the Northern Ireland Protocol. This section of the Brexit agreement requires that certain goods entering Northern Ireland are checked against the rest.

Although Monday’s meeting of politicians wasn’t likely to result in a breakthrough in negotiations immediately, there are hopes that the latest talks will give an impetus to further progress over the coming weeks.


According to the UK foreign ministry the talks took place at Lancaster House. Chris Heaton Harris, Northern Ireland minister, participated.

Despite the fact that the Northern Ireland Protocol was an integral part the Brexit Agreement, successive UK prime ministers rejected it.

As part of Britain’s exit from the EU, it agreed to leave Northern Ireland within the bloc’s single market for goods. This was done to preserve the peace agreement and to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Checks began in January 2021 on goods coming from the rest of Britain.

However, the British government has tried to lower many trade barriers ever since the protocol came into effect. The EU was accused of trying to reverse the protocol.

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