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The EU Pauses Action Against the U.K., But Divides Over Northern Ireland Persist

MIN READJul 28, 2021 | 17:57 GMT

Police officers watch protesters rally against the Northern Ireland protocol in Belfast on July 3, 2021.

(Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

While the European Union will make concessions to the United Kingdom to reform the Northern Ireland protocol, the two sides’ conflicting goals will still risk escalating trade tensions. In recent days, the European Commission has shown interest in reaching a compromise with the United Kingdom over the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol, which establishes customs controls at the Irish Sea. London argues that the protocol is creating disruptions in trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and wants to renegotiate it. Recent proposals by Brussels to soften the implementation of the protocol suggest that the European Commission has moved away from its original position that the agreement must be fully implemented in its current form. ...

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