Britain wants to reach a deal with the EU to quickly resolve post-Brexit trade over Northern Ireland issues, Foreign Minister James Cleverly said on Thursday, taking a softer approach to what has been an intractable dispute suggests.
The standoff is the biggest tension ever between the EU and Britain over the part of the Brexit deal that governs trade with Northern Ireland, which left the bloc on January 31, 2020.
A major hitch is Britain’s so-called Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which effectively torn down parts of the Brexit divorce deal. It was introduced by the UK’s now prime minister, Liz Truss, when she was foreign minister.
Cleverly stated that when the government would take that bill forward and pass it through Parliament, it was only a “safety net” and that his first priority was for a negotiated settlement.
Referring to discussions with EU, US and Irish ministers, deftly told Reuters: “What I have seen is a collective desire to solve this.”
Biden and Truss discuss the NI Protocol and Russia…
“I find a real atmosphere of goodwill,” he said. “Our favorite option is, and always has been, a negotiated settlement. That’s the tone we’ll take in negotiations.”
The two sides agreed on the Northern Ireland Protocol, a way to avoid reinstating border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Britain left the European Union, which was seen as a key to safeguarding peace on the island. goes.
But Britain has since accused Brussels of a heavy-handed approach to moving goods between Britain and Northern Ireland, with unionist communities in the region saying it eroded their place in the United Kingdom.
London wants parts of the agreement to be changed but the EU says the protocol is a legally binding treaty that London has entered into independently. The European Commission has launched a series of legal proceedings against the UK for breaches of the agreement.