U.K. and EU Are Still at Odds Over Post-Brexit Northern Ireland

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The U.K. and the European Union plan to meet again in the next two weeks after failing to resolve their differences over how the Brexit trade deal is affecting Northern Ireland.

David Frost, who leads on the U.K.’s relations with the EU, and European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic met Thursday evening in Brussels.

There were few expectations of a breakthrough and on Friday both sides put out statements, with the U.K. referring to some “positive momentum.” The EU said the two men “used the occasion to take stock of all outstanding issues.”

An EU official had warned before the dinner that if a deal was to be reached it would still be many weeks away.

The impact of Brexit -- which created an effective trade border down the Irish Sea -- has caused upheaval in Northern Ireland, provoking rioting and violence plus disruption and extra costs for businesses.

The EU has brought legal action against the U.K. over its implementation of the protocol, after Britain unilaterally extended a waiver on customs checks on some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain. Yet in a goodwill gesture, it also decided to postpone moving forward with the proceedings.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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