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N.Ireland deal possible by Christmas, remains preference

DUBLIN (Reuters) – British Brexit minister David Frost said on Wednesday that his government’s preference is to strike a deal to improve post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland and that agreement can be reached by Christmas.

Britain and the EU agreed last week to intensify efforts to solve issues around the Northern Ireland protocol. Brussels cautiously welcomed a change in tone from London, though British Brexit minister David Frost said “significant gaps” remained.

“I think it can be done, whether it will be done is another question,” Frost told BBC Northern Ireland when asked if a deal could be reached by Christmas, adding that triggering emergency safeguard measures remains “a very real option”.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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