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UK and EU agree deal 'in principle' to manage post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland

It follows a meeting between Micheal Gove and Maros Sefcovic yesterday.

Image: Twitter

THE UK AND the EU have reached an agreement in principle on issues relating to post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland.

It follows a meeting between Cabinet minister Micheal Gove and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic yesterday.

In a joint statement this afternoon, the two announced that an agreement had been made “in principle”, included arrangements relating to the Northern Ireland border.

It means the UK will remove three clauses in the Internal Market Bill that would have broken international law and denied the EU a say in future trading arrangements between the North and Ireland.

The clauses could have overridden the Withdrawal Agreement, and their removal means the UK will not introduce any similar provisions in another piece of legislation, the Taxation Bill.

“Following intensive and constructive work over the past weeks by the EU and the UK, the two co-chairs can now announce their agreement in principle on all issues, in particular with regard to the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland,” the joint statement said.

The agreement covers issues including border checks on animal and plant products, the supply of medicines and deliveries of chilled meats and other food products to supermarkets.

There was also “clarification” on the application of rules on state subsidies.

The news was welcomed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who said it brought the UK back into line with its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement.

“I look forward to an early meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee, Chaired by Commission Vice President Maros Sefocvic and Michael Gove to formalise the agreements reached,” Coveney said in a statement.

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“I hope this may also provide some of the positive momentum necessary to instil confidence and trust and allow progress in the wider context of the future relationship negotiations.”

With reporting from Press Association.

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