Coveney wants agreement on NI protocol by end of February

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Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has said he wants to see an agreement on the protocol by the end of February.

Mr Coveney said he did not want the Northern Ireland assembly election in May to be dominated by the issue of “polarisation”.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Coveney said the meeting marked a “reset” in relations between the EU and UK teams, which are now “in a better place than what we have seen for a while”.

Elections in the North are often polarizing enough matters without the added complexity and tension surrounding the protocol and its implementation.

He said: “From my conversations with both sides, I think this process will be very serious.

“I think in the minds of the people, in fact, if possible, we would like these issues to be resolved by the end of February, so that the elections in Northern Ireland can proceed without being dominated by issues of protocol, the correct way of voting.” Day.

“Elections in the North are often polarizing matters enough without the added complexity and tension surrounding the protocol and its implementation.

“So I think everyone is aware of their responsibility in terms of trying to bring some stability and certainty to Northern Ireland in terms of Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Ms Truss said a “deal has to be made” after her meeting with Mr Sefkovic.

However, he refused to rule out the possibility that the UK could invoke Article 16 – suspending part of the arrangements in the protocol – if they cannot agree to a further one.

Mr Coveney insisted that protocol is here to stay, and he did not expect Britain to remove the Article 16 threat until a deal was agreed.

He told RTE Radio One: “The protocol is there. It’s part of an international treaty, it’s part of international law.

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