Northern Ireland Protocol: New Brexit deal ‘inching towards conclusion’

A new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland is not yet finalized, but it is “inching towards completion,” according to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

The Taoiseach stated that a protocol agreement could be reached within days, but negotiators still need to bridge a gap.

He urged politicians from the UK, Brussels and Northern Ireland to “go the extra mile”.

Negotiations between the UK and the EU have been described as positive by a No. 10 source.

The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed during Brexit negotiations by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and will enter into force in 2021.

Northern Ireland continues to follow some EU laws in order to avoid the need for border checks at the UK’s border with the Republic of Ireland, which has been a source of contention for some time.

The UK and the EU have been negotiating a way forward and appear to be on the verge of reaching a new agreement, for which the prime minister has been attempting to gain support from some key Tory MPs and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

“There is the possibility of agreement in the next few days, but it is by no means guaranteed… there is still a gap to be closed,” Mr Varadkar told reporters.

He said there was ongoing engagement among politicians, and he urged them to “go the extra mile,” emphasizing the “huge” benefits of reaching an agreement.

According to the BBC, King Charles had planned to meet the president of the European Commission in the UK on Saturday.

The planned meeting between the King and Ursula von der Leyen, first reported by Sky News, was not part of the negotiations between the UK and the EU, and her visit was canceled for operational reasons unrelated to the political talks, according to multiple sources.

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