Members of the European Parliament approved a new law that the EU Commission hopes will keep the Northern Ireland protocol in place.
New legislation first proposed by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Constitutional Affairs Committees in October, has now received the full approval of the European Parliament.
MEPs voted on Wednesday to finalise the legislation that would allow the EU Commission to sanction the UK if London fails to comply with the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
The proposal was first put together by European People’s Party MEPs Seán Kelly and Christophe Hansen.
The law will come into force early next year.
Negotiations between UK and EU officials restarted last month but the two parties are still locking horns over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
On Thursday, Ursula von der Leyen has said she is “very confident” a solution will be found on the Protocol, if there is the political will in the UK Government.
Arriving in Dublin for a two-day visit on Thursday, the European Commission president said the EU and Ireland have always been in “very close co-operation” on Brexit matters.
“It was ironclad and is ironclad, and this is so important,” she said.
“The protocol, a post-Brexit trading arrangement for Northern Ireland designed to avoid a border, has caused some trading issues since its implementation.
“If there is the political will in the UK, I am very confident that we can reach a positive conclusion.”
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