EU & UK to resume Northern Ireland Protocol talks after 8-month break

Brussels and London will this week resume talks over the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol after an eight-month break, the European Commission has confirmed.

“There will be technical-level talks, discussions, exchanges already this week, the details of which, of course, need to be worked out,” Commission spokesman Daniel Ferrie told reporters on Monday.

“The EU is committed to joint efforts, committed to finding joint solutions. We need to find the solutions to bring predictability, certainty to people in Northern Ireland,” he added. 

The last technical talks between the two sides were held in mid-February and both the EU and UK have since launched legal actions against each other.

The Commission’s infringement procedures are over the UK’s decision to unilaterally implement and extend grace periods waving checks on certain agri-food products, as well as on the lack of infrastructure and staffing to carry out customs checks in the UK and London’s failure to share trading data as required under the Protocol.

Westminster, meanwhile, launched its own procedure its persisting exclusion from EU scientific research programmes, including Horizon.

The talks will come days after Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, and his new British counterpart, James Cleverly held their first phone conversation.

Both men described their conversation as “good” with **Šefčovič adding**that “both sides agree to look for solutions around the Protocol.”

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