Northern Ireland Protocol: Announcement imminent

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

An announcement about the new deal between the UK and EU about the post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland is expected within the hour.

The BBC is reporting that an announcement will be made on Sunday afternoon with more details of the deal to be released on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, Dominic Raab said that Britain was “on the cusp” of getting a deal to try and ease trade and polticial disruption in Northern Ireland.

“We’re on the cusp, we’ve made great progress, we’re not there yet,” the deputy prime minister told the BBC.

During Brexit negotiations the Northern Ireland Protocol was implemented to avoid imposing politically contentious checks along the 500-kilometre (310-mile) land border with EU member Ireland.

But the protocol effectively created a border for some goods moving from Britain because it kept Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.

That has also disrupted the delicate political balance in Northern Ireland, preventing the formation of a power-sharing government set out by a 1998 peace agreement that mostly ended three decades of sectarian violence in the province.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Sunak said the shooting of a police officer in Northern Ireland last week was a reminder of the fragility of the situation there.

Raab said the deal would address trade tensions by easing the physical checks on goods that were demanded by the EU under the original agreement.

He also said the deal hoped to address concerns that the EU can set rules for Northern Ireland that cannot be influenced by the region’s voters and politicians.