Brexit issue could be resolved soon in N. Ireland

London –

Ireland’s prime minister said on Saturday that Britain and the European Union were “little by little” closer to an agreement to settle a thorny post-Brexit dispute in Northern Ireland.

Leo Varadkar told reporters he believed a deal could be possible within days. His comments came amid intense speculation that a breakthrough in the months-long dispute over a trade deal known as the Northern Ireland Protocol was imminent.

“Certainly the deal is not finalized yet,” Varadkar told broadcaster RTE. “But I think we’re on our way to a conclusion, bit by bit.”

“The benefits are great, so I would like to encourage everyone to do more to reach an agreement,” he added.

The UK and the EU have been at odds over Northern Ireland (the only region in the UK that shares a border with EU member Republic of Ireland) since the UK’s final decision to leave the trade bloc in 2020. .

When Britain left the bloc, the two sides agreed to free the Irish border from customs and other checks, as an open border is a key pillar of Northern Ireland’s peace process.

Under the deal, there would be checks on some goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, prompting trade unionist politicians in the UK to argue that the new trade boundary would undermine Northern Ireland’s position in the UK. made me angry

Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government has been defunct since the Democratic Unionist Party stepped down a year ago in protest against the Protocol.

The party argues that the protocol must be repealed or substantially changed, and any deal the UK concludes with the EU must secure DUP support.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak referred to trade union concerns about the trade deal, saying “everything we do meets all these conditions”.

“I’ve been here all weekend trying to get it done,” said Sunak. “We are giving all we have.”

Sunak’s office raised hopes that a deal was near after saying there had been “good progress” in a conference call on Friday between Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

British media reported that von der Leyen was scheduled to visit Britain on Saturday to meet with Snak and Charles III, sparking further speculation, but the visit never materialized.

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