EU states believe MEPs exerted influence over UK in Brexit negotiations in Northern Ireland
EU member states, which believe MEPs will eventually give in and adopt the deal in a plenary vote, and the UK have already given their approval to the deal.
The European Parliament’s international trade and foreign affairs committees are expected to vote today in favor of ratifying the trade agreement.
Bernd Lange, chairman of the trade committee, said no date for the vote in parliament would be set until Britain gave “clear commitments” to fully implement the protocol.
“At the moment there is a lot of talk about distrust of the UK government, particularly regarding the refusal to implement the necessary steps in the Northern Ireland Protocol,” he said.
European People’s Party (EPP) MEPs said ratifying the trade deal would mean the EU could use the dispute settlement mechanisms in the deal to pressure the UK to properly enforce the protocol.
“A fully ratified agreement will increase leverage and expand our legal toolbox to continue pushing for the full and pragmatic implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and its protocol,” said Christophe Hansen, MEP , said the EPP spokesperson on trade.
Sean Kelly, head of the Irish EPP delegation, said that “the violence of recent weeks in Northern Ireland was totally unacceptable”.
“It is time for the UK to show responsibility and work hand in hand with the EU to ease tensions,” he said.
Both sides played down the chances of a breakthrough in the deadlock before the dinner between Lord Frost and Mr Sefcovic in Brussels.
The Telegraph understands that some progress has been made in technical talks in recent days, although significant differences remain between the two sides.
The EU and Britain have identified 27 different issues with Northern Ireland’s contested post-Brexit trade deals, some of which are more difficult than others and require political solutions, Irish Minister for Business said foreigners, Simon Coveney, during a visit to London.
The committee granted a UK request for more time to respond to EU legal action on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
A spokesperson for the European Commission said the purpose of the meeting was to take stock of technical work over the past two weeks and to give “political direction” to the follow-up talks.
Mr. Sefcovic would discuss the lawsuit for violating the terms of the Protocol, he said.
“Tonight’s meeting is part of our intense efforts to find common solutions to the implementation of the Protocol,” the spokesperson said.