UK may shelve controversial Brexit protocol bill in show of goodwill to EU

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Negotiators on both sides hopeful they may be able to enter intense ‘tunnel’ phase of talks next week

Ministers could shelve proposed legislation that would allow the UK to unilaterally rip up some Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland, as a sign of goodwill in negotiations with the EU, the Guardian has been told.

EU and UK negotiators are hopeful they may be able to enter the “tunnel” phase of negotiations next week. That phase, which involves intense negotiations with no public comment, is likely to be scheduled after a meeting between the UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, and the European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič on Monday.

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