UK and EU must ‘knuckle down and get Brexit resolved’, Irish PM warns

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Taoiseach Michael Martin during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)
Taoiseach Michael Martin during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

The Irish Premier Micheal Martin has urged the UK and EU to “knuckle down” and end the deadlock over Brexit as they resumed high-level talks on Friday.

Ahead of Brexit Minister Lord Frost’s latest meeting with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic in Brussels, Mr Martin said he was encouraged by the improved “mood music” around the negotiations.

The UK has been threatening to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol — the arrangement which avoids the need for a hard land border in Ireland by introducing checks on goods moving between Great Britain and the region. The threat has sparked concerns of an all-out trade war with the EU in the run up to Christmas.

Speaking to the BBC Mr Martin warned the UK against taking action but said he believed serious talks were taking place. “Both sides just need to knuckle down and get it resolved,” he said.

In Parliament yesterday, Lord Frost insisted Brussels should not interpret his “reasonable tone” in talks to imply any softening of the UK’s position.

Read More

Potential to ‘generate momentum’ in protocol negotiations – Lord Frost

Time to ‘turn the corner’ on damage done by Brexit to UK-EU relations – Martin

Progress on protocol possible without triggering Article 16 – Gove

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