Sefcovic and Cleverly start crisis talks today on Brexit concerns.

Sefcovic and Cleverly start crisis talks today on Brexit concerns.

According to insiders, the meeting between James Cleverly and Maros Sefcovic in London may not result in a favourable resolution for Northern Ireland in time for the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Today in London, the Foreign Secretary is receiving EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic for discussions on Brexit and the ongoing Northern Ireland Protocol debate.

When an agreement was reached between the two parties about veterinary medications entering the EU through Northern Ireland, the two sides began speaking again in October.

Despite optimism regarding the prospects of quickly reaching a comprehensive agreement on the movement of goods from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland, sources close to the EU and the UK Government claim it may not be possible by April 10, when the Good Friday Agreement will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

“We are looking at a fudge,” one official told RTE News, “where [both sides] will point to nominal progress and some agreement.”

Another insider said, “It could end up like that,” when asked if an agreement could be struck by April 10.

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which the government says it may use to unilaterally rewrite the agreement if discussions break down, is still under discussion between the UK and EU.

The post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland are, according to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the “Achilles heel” of continued ties between the EU and the UK.

In order to address support for Ukraine and the UK’s ties with Germany, Baerbock met with Mr Cleverly on Thursday and made a plea to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol impasse at that time.

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