Brexit breakthrough: UK and EU agree deal ‘in principle’ on Northern Ireland protocol
A deal has been agreed on the issue of the Northern Ireland border between the EU and UK, following months of confusion about how the Brexit withdrawal agreement should be implemented.
Under the agreement, the government has agreed to withdraw clauses from its taxation and internal market bills that would have breached international law by giving it the power to unilaterally overwrite the deal.
The breakthrough comes before a meeting between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen layer this week to try and solve the remaining issues on trade.
The side negotiations are separate from the stalled discussions pertaining to a free trade agreement, but the EU had previously said proceeding with the plan would make a trade deal impossible.
European Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič said: “Thanks to hard work Michael Gove and I have reached an agreement in principle on all issues relating to the Withdrawal Agreement implementation. This will ensure it is fully operational as of 1 Jan, including the protocol on Ireland/NI.”
Mr Gove thanked the EU team “for their constructive and pragmatic approach” and said he would update parliament on Wednesday.
More to follow.
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