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Imminent Brexit breakthrough is still complicated politically

The current negotiations between the government and Brussels, the government and Conservative backbenchers, and the government and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), are quite complicated. One element has been all but done for a while, and, we expect, to be sorted today - the deal between London and Brussels.

It seems that prime minister Rishi Sunak spent Sunday calling and texting world leaders with an interest in all of this, and speaking to some cabinet ministers too about the deal to be done on Monday. There is still the talks between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Among the things they will talk about is dealing with what some in London regard as a "democratic deficit" for Northern Ireland - that it needs more of a say about future changes in EU rules that will have an impact there.

However, the European Commission president would not be coming here unless it was sorted. It would not be surprising if her visit also includes some sort of meeting with the King.

Downing Street will emphasize what they see as the immediate positives of the deal: a better arrangement for Northern Ireland. And resetting relations with the EU. Both of these things matter: the former in winning round sceptics, potentially over time, that this does amount to an improvement on what went before.


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