A fresh Brexit agreement for Northern Ireland appears to be nearing completion between the UK and the EU.
The negotiations, according to a source at No. 10, are “promising.”
Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach of Ireland, told reporters on Saturday that although a protocol agreement had not yet been reached, it was “inching towards a resolution.”
According to the BBC, King Charles had been scheduled to meet with the head of the European Commission on Saturday in the UK.
According to numerous accounts, Ursula von der Leyen’s visit was postponed owing to administrative issues unrelated to the political negotiations.
The anticipated encounter between the King and the head of the European Commission, first reported by Sky News, was unrelated to talks between the UK and the EU.
The fact that a meeting was scheduled, however, is crucial since it seems to suggest that a Brexit deal was about to be completed and made public when Ms von der Leyen was in the UK.
When she will next visit the UK is unknown.
Others had proposed that a new agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was believed to be almost finished, may be termed the Windsor Agreement and feature a public appearance by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ms. von der Leyen.
To avoid the necessity for border checks at the UK’s border with the Republic of Ireland, the protocol, which was agreed upon under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and entered into place in 2021, allowed Northern Ireland to continue to adhere to some EU regulations.
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The prime minister made “excellent progress,” according to Downing Street, after speaking on the phone with Mr. Sunak and Ms. von der Leyen on Friday.
The leaders agreed to “address this further in the next days,” according to a source, who later stated that it had been “good” and that negotiations will move forward.
To make the timing of an announcement work at a place and time that is agreeable for both parties, the UK and the EU must coordinate their schedules.
There is still a gap to be filled, but there is a chance of agreement in the coming days, according to Mr. Varadkar.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has meanwhile canceled a protracted-planned trip to the Middle East at the start of next week, heightening hopes that the UK and EU will make a formal statement within the next few days.
The DUP, however, and Conservative backbenchers have been at odds, and there have been numerous delays over the past week or so.
The prime minister has been making an effort to gain backing for modifications to the contentious procedure.
An earlier DUP source told the BBC that the party had no meetings planned for the weekend and had not engaged in any discussions with the prime minister on Friday.
As the DUP is preventing the establishment of a devolved government in Northern Ireland, Mr. Sunak has been attempting to reach an agreement with the group.
The DUP’s shadow Brexit spokesman, Sammy Wilson MP, stated that his party would only agree to a deal if EU law “forced” on Northern Ireland was repealed.
If the prime minister is successful in achieving that, he said to Sky News, “We would welcome it, but if he hasn’t, then as members of the UK we cannot accept it.”
In Northern Ireland, Mr. Wilson stated, “we expect British law should prevail, not Brussels law imposed on us, with all the awful repercussions that has.”
Several Tory lawmakers have been pressuring the prime minister on Northern Ireland’s current responsibility to abide by some EU laws and answer to the European Court of Justice.
According to Tory MP Sir John Redwood, “The UK must resist the EU’s attempts to impose rules on Northern Ireland. The Unionists must be won over by the EU.”