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Brussels and London are No Closer to Northern Ireland Solution

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The European Commission and the United Kingdom have come no closer to a solution to the customs dispute in Northern Ireland.


After talks between Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and British Brexit Minister David Frost, the European Commissioner said he was disappointed with the lack of results. He will travel to London next week in another attempt to close the gap between London and Brussels.

According to Šefčovič, the EU has given the British a big helping hand with the package of proposals that the committee put on the table last month. But after weeks of negotiations at the official level and three top-level meetings with Šefčovič and Frost, the Slovak says little progress has been made.

Moreover, according to a spokesman for the British government, the Brussels proposals do not offer an effective solution to the problems with the import into Northern Ireland of goods from Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).

The two also spoke about the conflict between London and Paris over French fishing licenses in British waters. According to Šefčovič, the trade agreement between the EU and the UK is clear and French fishermen should be able to continue fishing there and therefore obtain a permit. Frost will continue negotiations next week with the French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune after they were unable to reach an agreement in Paris on Thursday.

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