After weeks of intense London-Brussels talks, momentum has been building towards a deal to revise the Northern Ireland Protocol – the arrangements agreed to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland when Britain exited the EU in 2020.
“I had positive conversations with political parties in Northern Ireland,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters. “There’s work to do, we have not got a deal yet.”
One EU diplomat said it appeared the two sides were edging towards agreement and that a meeting in Brussels between British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and EU Brexit chief Maros Sefcovic could prepare the ground for a rapid conclusion.
“We have been at this sort of stage before so nobody is ready to uncork the champagne yet,” another EU diplomat said.
In Belfast, Sunak focused his attention on the Democratic Unionist Party, whose opposition to the protocol must be overcome to make any deal work.
“I will simply say that on some…