Blog: Brexit deal looks closer than ever under Liz Truss – The Telegraph

A Brexit deal looks more likely than not after Britain set a six-month deadline for negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The one thing Brexit deadlines have in common is that they are almost all missed. A deal to cut Irish Sea border checks, however, can be struck by the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April.

By setting the deadline, Liz Truss has taken the threat of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill off the table for now. The prospect of tearing up the treaty with the legislation enraged the EU, which said the move would break international law.

The rhetoric from both sides has softened. London and Dublin have talked of a “landing zone” for the agreement.

That lies somewhere between reducing checks enough to satisfy Britain while keeping enough safeguards to reassure Brussels that nothing not meeting EU standards crosses from Northern Ireland into Ireland.

Both the UK and the EU have called for an “express lane”, where goods deemed not at risk of crossing into the Single Market in Ireland can avoid checks.

The EU has offered a reduction in checks in exchange for the UK sharing market surveillance data on British goods entering Northern Ireland. A British IT system monitoring the cross-border trade is already built, but will need some tweaks to satisfy Brussels.

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