‘Landing zones’ for deal on Northern Ireland protocol, says Simon Coveney

Late on Friday, Mr Coveney tweeted that it was “good to talk” with UK foreign secretary Liz Truss.
‘Landing zones’ for deal on Northern Ireland protocol, says Simon Coveney

Foreign Affairs minister Simon Coveney. File Picture: Brian Lawless/PA

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has indicated that he believes there are “landing zones” for a deal on the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Mr Coveney spoke with with UK foreign secretary Liz Truss on Friday, as negotiations between the UK and the EU continue over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Late on Friday, Mr Coveney tweeted that it was “good to talk” with Ms Truss.

“Work to do, but there are landing zones that allow the protocol to be implemented in a way that responds positively to concerns raised in Northern Ireland.

“Progress on key issues in February is possible if United Kingdom and European Union work in partnership.”

Ms Truss also tweeted following the meeting.

She said it was important that all sides “work constructively together to find solutions that address the problems in NI and protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement”.

The British foreign secretary this week expressed her determination to secure a deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol that can command universal support in Northern Ireland.

Ms Truss made the comments after meeting with business and political leaders in Northern Ireland on Thursday.

She said: “What I want is a deal that works for everyone. We are making progress. We’re having constructive talks.

“I want to make significant progress by February. That’s important but it’s important that we secure the support of all of the communities in Northern Ireland, including the unionist community.”

Recent days have seen renewed warnings from the main unionist party, the DUP, that it will walk away from the devolved institutions at Stormont if major changes to the Irish Sea border trading arrangements are not secured.

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