British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are to meet extracurricular London Monday for what 10 Downing Street is billing arsenic "final talks" to extremity years of wrangling and seal a woody to resoluteness their thorny post-Brexit waste and acquisition dispute complete Northern Ireland.
In a associated connection Sunday, Sunak and von der Leyen said they "agreed to proceed their activity successful personification toward shared, applicable solutions for nan scope of analyzable challenges astir nan Protocol connected Ireland and Northern Ireland."
The 2 sides announced that von der Leyen will recreation to England for a gathering pinch Sunak successful Windsor, astir 20 miles westbound of London. A associated news convention is penciled in, followed by a connection by Sunak to nan House of Commons. A gathering pinch King Charles III is besides planned and will apt touch connected a assortment of issues, including ambiance alteration and nan warfare successful Ukraine.
Striking an statement would beryllium a triumph for Sunak – but not nan extremity of his troubles. Selling nan woody to his ain Conservative Party and its Northern Ireland friends whitethorn beryllium tougher.
UK PM SUNAK HEADS TO NORTHERN IRELAND, FUELING SPECULATION OF POST-BREXIT TRADE TALKS
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is walking to England Monday to meet pinch British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak regarding Brexit. (Steve Reigate/Pool Photo via AP, File)
"The king is pleased to meet immoderate world leader if they are visiting Britain and it is nan government’s proposal that he should do so," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told The Associated Press.
If each goes to plan, nan woody could extremity a conflict that has soured U.K.-EU relations, sparked nan illness of nan Belfast-based location authorities and shaken Northern Ireland’s decades-old bid process.
Northern Ireland is nan only portion of nan U.K. that shares a separator pinch an EU member, nan Republic of Ireland. When nan U.K. near nan bloc successful 2020, nan 2 sides agreed to support nan Irish separator free of customs posts and different checks because an unfastened separator is simply a cardinal pillar of Northern Ireland’s bid process.
Instead, location are checks connected immoderate equipment entering Northern Ireland from nan remainder of nan U.K. That angered British unionist politicians successful Belfast, who opportunity nan caller waste and acquisition separator successful nan Irish Sea undermines Northern Ireland’s spot successful nan United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland governmental leaders, from left, Gordon Lyons, Gavin Robinson, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Emma Little-Pengelly speak successful Belfast extracurricular wherever Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held talks complete nan Northern Ireland Protocol connected Feb. 17, 2023. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)
What's known arsenic nan Northern Ireland Protocol has been criticized arsenic perchance jeopardizing nan 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of sectarian unit known arsenic The Troubles. The Democratic Unionist Party collapsed Northern Ireland’s Protestant-Catholic power-sharing authorities a twelvemonth agone successful protestation and has refused to return until nan rules are scrapped aliases substantially rewritten.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said to Sky News Sunday astir taking "more of an intelligence-based approach" to bully checks astatine Irish ports, which "would successful itself impact a significant, important scaling backmost of nan domiciled of nan ECJ." He besides said of nan imaginable of a "proper antiauthoritarian cheque coming retired of nan institutions successful Stormont."
Hints of discuss toward nan EU besides person sparked guidance from hard-line euroskeptics who shape a powerful bloc successful Sunak’s governing Conservative Party. Critics see erstwhile Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who arsenic leader astatine nan clip of Brexit signed disconnected connected nan waste and acquisition rules that he now derides. Johnson was ousted by nan Conservatives past twelvemonth complete morals scandals but is wide believed to dream for a comeback.
Brexit secured nary onshore checks astatine nan border, but contention remains complete nan caller waste and acquisition separator successful nan Irish Sea. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a salient pro-Brexit Tory lawmaker, said acceptance of immoderate woody "will each depend" connected nan DUP. "If nan DUP are against it, I deliberation location will beryllium rather a important number of Conservatives who are unhappy," Rees-Moog said.
Sunak has said Parliament will get to statement immoderate woody he strikes, but he hasn't promised lawmakers a binding ballot connected it.
During nan agelong Brexit divorce, nan U.K. authorities introduced a measure that would fto it unilaterally rip up parts of nan Brexit agreement, a move nan EU called illegal. The bloc accused nan U.K. of failing to grant nan legally binding pact it had signed regarding nan Northern Ireland Protocol.
The temper betwixt London and Brussels improved aft Sunak, a pragmatic Brexit supporter, took agency successful October, replacing Johnson's predecessor Liz Truss aft her short tenure.
A woody is apt to region customs checks connected nan immense mostly of equipment moving betwixt nan U.K. and Northern Ireland and springiness Northern Ireland lawmakers immoderate opportunity complete EU rules that use location arsenic portion of nan protocol.
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The thorniest rumor is nan domiciled of nan European Court of Justice successful resolving immoderate disputes that originate complete nan rules. The U.K. and nan EU agreed successful their Brexit divorcement woody to springiness nan European tribunal that authority. But nan DUP and Conservative Brexiteers insist nan tribunal must person nary jurisdiction successful U.K. matters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Danielle Wallace is simply a newsman for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, constabulary and more. Story tips tin beryllium sent to email@example.com and connected Twitter: @danimwallace.