Ireland’s trade minister, Simon Coveney, said that the EU and UK are likely to reach a deal on their post-Brexit trading relationship, after they were able to reach an agreement on data sharing, writes Bloomberg. The EU has agreed to use the UK’s live database tracking goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, which is seen as a positive step forward in a long-standing dispute on post-Brexit trading rules.
Coveney said that the ability to reach an agreement has relied on trust and that once there is an agreement on data sharing that both the British government and EU can support, it is an important step forward. He added that the deal “can be the basis for more flexibility and more cooperation in terms of how we manage the movement of goods”, distinguishing between those staying in Northern Ireland and those moving to other parts of the EU single market.
However, he also cautioned not to overstate the IT systems agreement and breaking the protocol impasse before the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April looks like a tight time-line.
Leo Varadkar echoed Coveney’s optimism and called it a “very positive progress after over a year of no progress at all” that “does open the door to a further agreement and making the protocol more workable and more acceptable.
The deal is “very positive progress after over a year of no progress at all,” he said. “It does open the door to a further agreement and making the protocol more workable and more acceptable.”