During the 2019 UK general elections, an election that could be described as a second Brexit referendum, Boris Johnson campaigned to “Get Brexit done” with an “Oven ready deal”.
Now, over two years later, his predecessor, bar one, Rishi Sunak, is being warned not to serve up a “half-baked deal” to resolve the deadlock being caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The warning came from the leader of the Dup, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who urged Rishi Sunak to “get this done, and done properly”.
The comments came soon after a press release by the UK government issuing a joint statement from the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, which followed a meeting on the 9th January 2023.
It stated that the two sides had discussed the challenges of the Northern Ireland Protocol and need to find solutions to comprehensively tackle the concerns of all communities in Northern Ireland and protect Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market as well as the integrity of the EU’s Single Market.
They agreed that the collaborative and constructive scoping work should continue.
At the same meeting the UK and EU agreed on access to a new database created in Britain, designed to provide real-time information on the movement of goods going from Britain to Northern Ireland and/or further on into the EU.
The agreement to use the database is seen as a prerequisite to building trust and provide assurance, and now that the agreement has passed, it paves the way for renewed discussions on the NI Protocol between the EU and the UK.
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