Northern Ireland Protocol: Dublin hopes for new deal ‘within weeks’ to end post-Brexit trade deal | Political News

Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney has expressed “cautiously optimistic” talks between the UK and Brussels to resolve the dispute over post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland will resume within weeks.

Private conversations they had with him and the Prime Minister of the country Micheal Martin by Liz Truss The newly installed administration indicated there was an opportunity for a “new and perhaps more real round of dialogue”.

But Mr Coveney stressed it would require compromise on both sides.

Ms Truss said her preference was to find a negotiated settlement, but only if it fit with the unilateral action already underway to resolve issues around Northern Ireland Protocol.

The deal agreed by the UK and the EU as a way to avoid a hard Irish land border has created economic barriers to the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, causing resentment and anger among many unionists and loyalists.

The dispute has created a stalemate in efforts to form a devolved government administration in Belfast.

Under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain launched controversial moves to scrap some checks.

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill it will bypass parts of the deal and introduce separate ‘green’ and ‘red’ lanes for goods traveling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, drawing a dividing line between those destined to remain in the UK and those headed for the Republic of Ireland and beyond it.

Mr Johnson had argued that the legislation was necessary to ensure peace and stability in Northern Ireland.

But critics warned it would be an “unacceptable breach” of international law and fuel distrust of Britain.

However, after Ms Truss won the Tory leadership race to become prime minister, Mr Coveney struck a more hopeful note.

He told Irish broadcaster RTE: “I have to say that I have some cautious optimism that in a few weeks we will see the start of a genuine effort to try to sort out some of these issues that have been outstanding for far too long.

“But we’re very clear, both the Irish government and the EU, it’s very clear that this requires compromise on both the UK side and the EU side.”

EU financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness, Ireland’s representative on the bloc’s executive, also told RTE her expectation was that both sides would return to the table in the coming weeks.

Ms Truss and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are expected to discuss the protocol when they both attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

There have also been suggestions the Prime Minister could speak to her Irish counterpart and US President Joe Biden about the issue when world leaders descend on Britain for the queen’s funeral.

References follow UK had told Brussels it would continue to suspend border checks on goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, despite legal action taken by the bloc.

The European Commission initiated infringement proceedings in June and Julyaccusing the UK of not complying with the protocol.

But as the deadline loomed to respond to the move, ministers appeared to have told the EU they would continue with the grace periods for controls they currently have in place – meaning it does not force retailers and exporters to comply with all controls agreed upon in the protocol.

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