London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Hopes grow for Northern Ireland deal as UK politicians ordered to parliament

Hopes grow for Northern Ireland deal as UK politicians ordered to parliament

Lawmakers in British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party have been told to be in parliament on Monday in a sign that a new post-Brexit deal to resolve the trading arrangements in Northern Ireland could be getting closer.

After weeks of intense London-Brussels talks, momentum has been building towards an agreement to revise the Northern Ireland Protocol - the arrangements agreed to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland when Britain exited the EU in 2020.

Conservative lawmakers have been warned by party officials that there is a "three-line whip" to be in parliament on Monday, their strictest order for politicians to be present or they could face disciplinary action.

Cabinet ministers have been put on alert for a possible conference call over the weekend to discuss the deal, according to The Times newspaper, though that would depend on the backing of the biggest unionist party in the British province.

A government official, who asked not to be named, stressed that talks were continuing and said that any discussion of a conference call on Sunday was "purely speculation".

Sunak had a "positive" call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday, a source at his office said, adding there had been "good progress" and the pair would discuss the issue further in coming days.


SUNAK MEETS RETAILERS


The prime minister also met with British retail executives on Friday to discuss the protocol, where the government's approach was reasonably well-received, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting.

The sense was that the government was trying, but no one was going to get everything they wanted, they added.

Meanwhile Sky News reported that Downing Street had planned a meeting on Saturday between Britain's King Charles and von der Leyen, which the broadcaster said could have suggested he was giving his blessing to the negotiations, or to endorse a deal had one already been agreed.

However, the meeting was cancelled on Friday, Sky said. Such a meeting would have been controversial as constitutionally the British monarch is not supposed to be involved in political issues.

Neither Downing Street nor Buckingham Palace responded to requests for comment about the Sky report.


DUP KEY


Britain and the EU have been working to revise the protocol which would mark an end to a two-year standoff, but might lead to a new battle for the government with pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers.

The government needs the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) if a deal is to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing devolved administration, which its lawmakers are boycotting over their opposition to the protocol.

Some of Sunak's lawmakers will refuse to support the deal unless it has the backing of the DUP, which argues the imposition of checks on some goods coming from the rest of the United Kingdom is undermining the union with Britain.

The party has proven to be a central player in almost seven years of often tortuous Brexit talks and its resistance has torpedoed previous attempts at agreement.

Britain's foreign minister James Cleverly said on Friday he hoped any deal, if it were sealed, would address all the conditions laid down by the DUP.

"When, hopefully, we get those issues resolved then I would hope that the DUP would recognise that we've addressed their concerns and until we have addressed those concerns we're not going to sign off on the deal," he said.

Naomi Long, the head of the province's cross-community Alliance Party, said it was wrong to give any individual party what appeared to be a veto on Northern Ireland's future.

A DUP spokesperson said the focus in London and Brussels should be on getting the right deal, not rushing ahead.

"The wrong deal will not restore power-sharing but will cement division for future generations," the spokesperson said.

Opinion polls have consistently shown a majority of Northern Irish voters - who earlier opposed Brexit - favour the idea of the protocol and it is also backed by a majority of lawmakers elected to the devolved assembly last year.

The latest quarterly poll conducted for Queen's University Belfast showed on Friday that 53% see the current lighter touch application of the rules as an appropriate means of managing Brexit, down one percentage point in the last three months.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Netanyahu Denounces World Court Ruling on Israeli Occupation
Adidas Drops Bella Hadid Over Controversy
Global Outage Caused by CrowdStrike Update Impacts Millions
Massive Flight Cancellations Across the U.S. Due to Microsoft Outage
Global Windows Outage Causes Chaos Across Banks, Airlines, and More
Russia Accuses Ukraine of Using Chemical Weapons
UK's Flawed COVID-19 Planning Exposed by Inquiry
Ursula von der Leyen Wins Second Term as European Commission President
Police Officer Injured in Attack in Central Paris
Hulk Hogan absolutely tore it up at the RNC.
Paris is being "cleansed" of migrants and homeless people ahead of the Olympics.
Lamine Yamal arriving at his school after winning the Euros
Campaigners Urge UK Government to Block Shein's London IPO
UK Labour Government's Legislative Agenda
UK Labour Government to Regulate Powerful AI Models
Record Heat Temperatures in Ukraine Amid Power Crisis
UK Government Plans to Remove 92 Hereditary Peers from House of Lords
King Charles III Delivers Labour Government's First King's Speech
Officials Remove 'Disastrous' Label from Liz Truss's Mini-Budget
Keir Starmer Outlines Ambitious Plans for Government
Japan to Allocate $3.3 Billion to Ukraine Using Frozen Russian Assets
EU Parliament Condemns Hungarian PM's Russia Visit
FBI Struggles to Find Motive Behind Trump Shooting Incident
Kremlin Criticizes EU Rejection of Orban’s Ukraine Peace Proposal
Google and Microsoft Now Consume More Power Than Several Large Countries
Secret Service Criticized for Lack of Sniper Protection During Trump Shooting
US Senator Robert Menendez Found Guilty of Corruption
Deep Concerns about Political Violence as US Approaches Election Day
Trump Media Shares Surge Following Re-Election Bid Boost
The gunman who attempted to assassinate Donald Trump Saturday is 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks
Banksy's Influence on Port Talbot's Street Art Scene
Bodies of Two Men Found in Suitcases on Bristol Bridge, 24-Year-Old Arrested
Kate Middleton to Attend Wimbledon Men's Final Amid Cancer Recovery
Russia's Electronic Warfare Neutralizes Western Weapons in Ukraine
Trump Challenges Biden to Debate and Golf Match
Macron Accuses Israeli Minister of Election Interference
US Senator Highlights Weaknesses in Western Military Industry During Ukraine Conflict
George Clooney Urges Biden to Withdraw from Presidential Race
Political Shift in the UK: A Detailed Analysis of Labour's Victory and Future Prospects
Viktor Orbán's Peace Mission: A Diplomatic Controversy in the EU
India Advocates Peace and Prosperity: PM Modi's Speech in Austria
New UK PM Keir Starmer Reaffirms Strong Support for Ukraine at NATO Summit
Spain PM Pedro Sanchez Denounces Double Standards on Gaza at NATO Summit
UK Police Arrest Suspect in Crossbow Attack After Three Women Killed
Sunita Williams Safe on ISS, to Address Earth on July 10
Biden Affirms Commitment To Presidential Race
France Faces Political Turmoil and Airport Strikes Ahead of Paris Olympics 2024
Putin Hosts PM Modi for a Private Meeting
TSMC: The Taiwanese Chip Giant Valued Over $1 Trillion
Boeing Pleads Guilty Over 737 MAX Crashes
×