EU, UK to step up Northern Ireland talks amid ‘cordial’ atmosphere – POLITICO

LONDON – The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed to intensify talks next week on how to ease the burden that post-Brexit trade rules place on Northern Ireland businesses and individuals, amid signs of a warmer relationship between London and Brussels.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who has been in charge of Brexit since last month, welcomed Maros Ševović, the Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Brexit, in their first personal discussion of the new rules affecting trade between Northern Ireland and Britain. Great.

The rules are laid out in the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol, which aims to protect the EU’s single market while avoiding the difficult, politically sensitive border between the region and the Republic of Ireland.

gears and Shevovich met Thursday and Friday at Chevening House, the foreign secretary’s residence in Kent, and was photographed walking together in the garden.

In a joint statement Friday, the two sides said the meeting took place “in a cordial atmosphere” and noted “their shared desire to establish a positive relationship between the EU and the UK underpinned by our shared belief in freedom and democracy”.

Since taking charge of Brexit in the wake of the sudden resignation of former British Brexit Secretary David Frost, Truss has made improving the relationship with the EU a priority, with Brussels calling for “pragmatism” and maintaining the threat of suspending parts of the protocol if issues are not found. indicated by the United Kingdom.

We have had constructive talks with the European Union. “We are now in the midst of intense negotiations to work towards a negotiated solution to sort out these very real issues for the people of Northern Ireland,” Truss said in a syndicated radio clip.

“I think there is a deal to be made. I want to make progress Obviously if we don’t make enough progress we will have to look at alternatives, but my absolute desire is to have a deal that works for the people of Northern Ireland.”

A British official said Truss is “investing a lot of energy in having a good, constructive relationship with Sivovich – she wants to reset relations and get off to a good start, which we feel we’ve done”.

The joint statement and photos are signs of a more cordial relationship after months of heightened tension under Frost’s leadership.

Before boarding the train back to Brussels, Seifowicz thanked Truss for her hospitality and stressed, “Now is the time to start removing problems from the table.”

EU and UK officials will meet next week for “intense talks”, ahead of another meeting between Sivovic and Truss on January 24.

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