Latest talks between UK and EU over NI Protocol 'constructive'

The UK and EU have held "constructive" talks over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic had their latest meeting in Brussels on Monday.

In a joint statement they "reaffirmed their shared desire for a positive EU-UK relationship underpinned by our shared belief in freedom and democracy, and co-operation on common global challenges".

Officials will carry on talks this week before Ms Truss and Mr Sefcovic meet again next week to take stock of the situation.

As well as the ongoing discussions, the EU-UK Joint Committee will meet in February.

This will be the first time the panel, set up to oversee the implementation and application of the Brexit divorce deal, will have met since June.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said his party wanted to see "real, meaningful and decisive action" on the Protocol.

He added: "While of course mid-February is coming very quickly, I want to know from the UK Government side where they're going with this.

"The basis upon which we re-entered the power-sharing institutions was that Northern Ireland's place in the UK internal market was protected.

"That has not been honoured by the Government and that is a serious matter."

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill welcomed the statement and said: "I have called for them both to hold a meeting of the Brexit Joint Committee.

"I welcome the fact it shall now meet. Solutions can and must be found to get the breakthrough everyone wants."