Varadkar: 'Huge progress' made in protocol talks

Varadkar: 'Huge Progress' Made In Protocol Talks
The Taoiseach said he could not say whether there will be an agreement this week. Photo: PA Images
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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the EU and UK have made huge progress in talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol and British prime minister Rishi Sunak should be given time and space to finalise a deal.

"I can't say whether or not we'll have an agreement this week. I know that a huge amount of progress has been made in terms of coming to an agreement on the protocol," Mr Varadkar told a news conference.


"I know that Prime Minister Sunak wants to consult with his party, wants to consult with the parties in Northern Ireland and I think it's really important that we allow some time and space for that to happen and avoid any commentary that might make it more difficult for this to be agreed."

Tory Brexiteers and ministers have been urged to give Mr Sunak the “time and space” to “thrash out” a new deal on the protocol amid fears of a rebellion.

Mr Sunak faces a challenge in his own party as Britain and the European Union inch closer to an agreement seeking to resolve tensions over post-Brexit arrangements.

As negotiations continue, Mr Sunak will meet with his Cabinet as he seeks to satisfy the demands of the DUP.

He is facing calls to allow MPs a vote on any final deal and the Times reported that some ministers could resign if his solution risks Northern Ireland’s position in the UK.

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