Rishi Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen will meet in the U.K. on Monday in the early afternoon for final talks ahead of an expected announcement of a post-Brexit settlement for Northern Ireland.
The meeting in Berkshire, where King Charles II’s Windsor Castle is situated, suggests the U.K. and the European Union are finally ready to settle their differences over a standoff that has persisted since the U.K.’s departure from the EU single market and customs union in 2021. Finalizing Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trading arrangements has been a hangover from the withdrawal agreement that the U.K. and the EU agreed in 2019, when Boris Johnson was Britain’s prime minister.
Announcing a deal would be a triumph for Sunak, who has sought to dial down tensions with the EU since taking power in October. But there could still be peril ahead for the premier, who was unable to convince unionists in Northern Ireland and Brexiteers in his own ruling Conservative Party to endorse an agreement last week.