EU and UK hold ‘productive’ talks on Northern Ireland crisis

Talks in between the EU and UK to alleviate tensions in Northern Ireland have actually been described as “efficient” and “constructive” with momentum now developed to attain a solution to the crisis, the Brexit minister, David Frost, has actually stated.

However the EU utilized the very first face-to-face conference considering that lockdown in between Lord Frost and the European commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič, to warn that the result required to be collectively agreed.

There was “no area for unilateral action”, he said, adding the danger of legal action over the UK’s choice last month to delay some of the border checks in Northern Ireland would stay on the table for “as long as needed”.

Frost and Šefčovič held 4 hours of talks in Brussels on Thursday night in what the EU referred to as a “solution-driven environment”, suggesting a thaw in relations over Northern Ireland.

The 2 sides have actually consented to heighten talks at all levels in the coming weeks, with conferences with business and civic leaders in Northern Ireland in the next fortnight.

The Brussels summit was developed to inject fresh political inspiration into technical talks that have actually been ongoing over the previous 3 weeks.

Frost stated those talks “had actually started to clarify the outstanding concerns, and some positive momentum had been developed”.

But he alerted “challenging concerns remained and it was important to continue to discuss them”.

The recent unrest in Northern Ireland has added to the pressure, with reports on Friday that a 2nd male had been shot in the legs in an area in Derry where violence broke out over Easter.

After Thursday night’s conference both sides have actually suggested the desire for an option based upon the procedure, which the Democratic Unionist party desires scrapped.

The EU likewise highlighted what seems a lack of detail in the roadmap the UK provided to Brussels 2 weeks ago on application of the protocol.

Šefčovič has asked the UK to come back with “clear end points, due dates, turning points and the ways to measure development” and reminded the UK that “services can just be found through joint actions and through joint bodies”.

The conference came as Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, held a series of meetings with cabinet and shadow cabinet members in London consisting of talks with Frost, the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, and the Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis.

Louise Haigh, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, remains in Belfast on Friday to meet civic and politicians. Labour has accused the UK federal government of losing the trust of the unionist community.

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