Analysis: Northern Ireland protocol issue becomes ever more pressing as elections approach

Liz Truss may have struck a more diplomatic tone than her predecessor David Frost in negotiations with Maros Sefcovic, but substantive progress on key issues is required

‘Although the meeting of Liz Truss and Maros Sefcovic has sparked some revived optimism on the EU side, in the words of Truss herself there is a “deal to be done”.’ Picture: Ben Stansall/Getty

The first intensive discussions of 2022 between EU and UK officials over the Northern Ireland protocol are getting underway this week, just days after the EU negotiator Maros Sefcovic met his new duelling partner in Liz Truss, the British Foreign Secretary.

By all accounts, last week’s two-day event at Chevening House – the grand country estate south of London at the disposal of British Foreign Secretaries for diplomatic blitzing – was an altogether different atmosphere ...