Downing Street officials have suggested that a soon-to-be-announced deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol will meet seven of the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) tests.
According to a report telegraphDuring talks in Brussels with European counterparts, UK negotiators agreed terms that would pass the test outlined by the DEP.
From 2021, the DUP has outlined seven tests that will determine its support for any new deal and return to power-sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland. Some commitments are technical, including “regulatory barriers” and “checks” on good matters, while others are more open to interpretation, such as preserving the “letter and spirit” of the Good Friday Agreement.
Announcing the “seven tests”, DUP leader Sir Geoffrey Donaldson said: “The strict implementation of the protocol that some anti-Brexit parties in Northern Ireland have called for would be bad for consumers and bad for business. It would be socially disastrous, economically devastating and politically disastrous for Northern Ireland. .
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“As Lord Frost has repeatedly pointed out the Northern Ireland Protocol is unsustainable in its current form and must go”.
New report for telegraph Suggests that detailed briefings will now follow along with the announcement of the deal – the terms of which have been discussed with Rishi Sunak – on how each of the seven red lines is met by the new terms of trade.
It has been reported for some time that negotiations on the NI Protocol are in the final stages, with European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefović and Foreign Secretary James having cleverly held a series of meetings in recent weeks. After a recent call last week, Mr. Shefkovic said the negotiations had been “hard work” but that it was “a good investment of time.”
On Friday, Mr Cleverley said any deal must address the “whole range of challenges”, adding that the government was working to address unionist concerns.
European diplomats have long warned that the talks are a “high-wire” act, a view recently echoed publicly by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“You know the principle that everything is discussed only at the last stage – when you know what the result is and you give a final signature”, he said.
A sticking point in the discussion is the extent to which the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will remain the final arbiter of EU law arising in Northern Ireland. The EU has previously insisted it wants the ECJ to act as the final authority on issues arising from the new deal, a position the UK government has rejected.
on monday, telegraph A new Brexit deal on trading terms in Northern Ireland is expected to be announced in the next fortnight.
In total, the DUP’s seven tests are:
- Fulfill Article 6 of the Articles of Union, which states that everyone in the United Kingdom is entitled to the same benefits.
- Avoid any trade diversion.
- The Irish Sea does not form a boundary.
- Give the people of Northern Ireland a say in the laws that govern them.
- Result “No checks on goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain or from Great Britain to Northern Ireland”.
- Ensure that no new regulatory barriers are created between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom unless agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive and Council.
- Preserve the letter and spirit of Northern Ireland’s constitutional guarantee that a reduction of its status as part of the United Kingdom requires the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.