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UK Brexit Minister Frost to hold talks with EU’s Sefcovic over Northern Ireland protocol dispute

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UK Brexit Minister David Frost Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

UK Brexit Minister David Frost Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

UK Brexit Minister David Frost Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

UK Brexit Minister David Frost will hold talks with one of Brussels’ top officials as efforts continue to resolve disputes over Northern Ireland and fishing rights.

Mr Frost will meet Maros Sefcovic with the UK and European Union still at loggerheads over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The meeting follows discussions between Lord Frost and France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune on Thursday aimed at calming tensions in the dispute over post-Brexit licences to fish in UK waters.

Mr Frost’s meeting in Brussels with European Commission vice-president Mr Sefcovic is likely to focus on efforts to bridge the gap between the two sides on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

To avoid a hard border with Ireland, the protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland inside the EU’s single market for goods, resulting in some checks for products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain, which left the single market.

Mr Frost has claimed the conditions for using Article 16 – allowing parts of the deal to be suspended – have been met because of the difficulties being caused.

The UK also wants an end to the European Court of Justice’s oversight role, something that Brussels has said is impossible.

Mr Frost has said he expects the issues around the protocol to be settled “one way or another” this autumn.

Senior EU figures are hopeful that the use of Article 16 of the protocol can be avoided.

European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans told ITV’s Peston that Brussels was “bending over backwards” to reach an agreement with the UK.

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