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MNI BRIEF: EU Sees N.Ireland Deal Despite UK Politics-Official

(MNI) Brussels

The European Commission is confident of success in talks with the UK on resolving problems around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol despite internal political difficulties on the British side, a senior EU source told MNI.

“As far as we concerned talks still ongoing. Obviously the last mile is always the most difficult,” the source said, acknowledging serious challenges for the UK government. “From our side we are keeping the process going. We can get there.”

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will meet later this week, though the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might crowd out scope for brokering final points of a deal. They will also hold another video conference this afternoon, but the official said there would be little to announce beyond a likely update on Twitter by early evening.

The source said the EU would not compromise on its its longstanding position that the European Court of Justice would remain “ultimate arbiter” of EU law, but there might be ways of finessing its precise role.

“We have always talked about how to improve stakeholder engagement, already there are mechanisms but I am sure there are ways to improve that engagement,” the source said.

MNI Brussels Bureau |
MNI Brussels Bureau |

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