The U.K and European Union are set to extend their negotiations over the post-Brexit future of Northern Ireland into 2022, as both sides seek a compromise that would avert a trade war.
Britain’s Brexit minister, David Frost, and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic are due to speak twice virtually this week and are expected to announce their talks will continue into the new year, according to two people familiar with the state of play, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A decision to continue with the talks is another sign of a recent reduction in tensions between the U.K. and the EU, following a period in October and November where it appeared that Britain might suspend the Brexit agreement over Northern Ireland. The U.K. has repeatedly said it would be justified in activating the so-called Article 16 provision — which allows for parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol to be suspended — but it is yet to carry out the threat.
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