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Shona Murray at Euronews tweets on the potential route to an agreement between the UK and EU on the Northern Ireland protocol:

  • "The EU is set to offer "dramatic" changes to how the Northern Ireland protocol [operates], say sources. [...] EU sources says 'this is not tinkering around the edges, this will involve "big changes" which includes a "bespoke" arrangement for NI regarding SPS. It's aimed at ending the so-called 'sausage wars' with a provision for 'national identity goods' ie: British sausages.
  • 'We obviously can't get rid of all our checks as we need to protect the Single Market so surveillance will still be ongoing but we want to end the problems with the protocol' according to sources. [...] Essentially, there's a recognition in Brussels that NI is a small region so certain derogations can apply given the deep political sensitivity involving identity which prevails."
  • "None of what'll be presented on Wednesday will be news to @DavidGHFrost and his team, says Brx. EU says they've been working in cooperation for several months. [...]Member states, EC, EP are all concerned that this "big" offer will be rejected and 'banked' by the UK gov, and Johnson, Frost, Donaldson will continue crusade against the NIP. But the feeling is that these changes are fundamental enough not to be dismissed."
  • The four non-papers from the EU are expected to be published on Wednesday. As noted by Euronews, the definition of what constitutes 'dramatic changes' may be viewed quite differently between Brussels and Westminister.