The co-chairs of the EU-UK joint committee on Tuesday announced an "agreement in principle" pertaining in large part to the Irish border issue. Although the agreement is not directly connected to the faltering last-gasp trade talks, it does signal progress in one of Brussels' main areas of concern outside the trade negotiations. The issues were hammered out during a meeting yesterday between EU Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and the UK negotiator Michael Gove, according to a joint press statement issued by both the EU and the UK.
The unofficial agreement would coordinate border control checks specifically for export declarations and the supply of food products plants and animals. As a result of the agreement, the British government said it would remove controversial clauses 44, 45, and 47 of a domestic law, called the Internal Market Bill, which was seen in Brussels as a bid to breach international law and nullify a past agreement with the EU. The agreement will be of particular importance for the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is to become the UK's only major land border (discounting British overseas territory Gibraltar) with the EU.
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