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Irish PM hopes for outline of Brexit trade deal this week but differences remain


BRUSSELS/DUBLIN Ireland's prime minister said on Monday he hoped the outline of a Brexit free-trade deal would emerge by the end of this week, despite what the European Union's negotiator called "fundamental divergences" at talks.

England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland aim to ease COVID rules for Christmas

LONDON The British government said on Sunday it was working with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ease COVID-19 restrictions over Christmas to allow families to get together.

Irish health chief concerned by unexpected rise in COVID-19 cases

DUBLIN An unexpected 10% rise in the five-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Ireland threatens to reverse a recent sharp drop in the incidence rate of the disease to the third-lowest level in Europe, the country's chief medical officer said on Saturday.

Northern Ireland parties reach deal to extend COVID-19 restrictions

BELFAST Northern Ireland's power-sharing government on Thursday agreed to extend COVID-19 restrictions for between one and two weeks, falling short of stricter measures demanded by Irish nationalist parties.

EU must show flexibility, especially over Northern Ireland, UK's Gove says

LONDON The European Union must show flexibility to help secure a free trade deal with Britain, particularly in Northern Ireland where the easy movement of goods must be maintained with the rest of the United Kingdom, Brexit supremo Michael Gove said.

World, Nov 12 2020

TikTok to increase Irish staff to 1,100 in rapid expansion

DUBLIN TikTok will increase its number of employees in Ireland to 1,100 by early 2021 from just 20 in January, the Chinese-owned video app said on Wednesday, a pace of expansion Ireland's foreign investment agency said was one of the fastest on record.

Technology, Nov 11 2020

Biden stresses importance of Northern Irish peace deal in first call to UK's Johnson

LONDON U.S. President-elect Joe Biden stressed the importance of protecting Northern Ireland's peace deal in the Brexit process when he called UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, hinting at potential tensions over Britain's EU exit even as the pair emphasised common ground in other areas.

World, Environment, Nov 10 2020

Biden delivers Brexit warning to UK PM Johnson in post-election call: FT

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, has delivered a warning to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a post-election call, not to let Brexit destabilise the Northern Ireland peace process, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

World, Environment, Nov 10 2020

Northern Irish leaders seek clarity on application of Protocol agreed with EU: RTE

LONDON The heads of Northern Ireland's devolved government have written to the European Commission, asking for potential problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed between the EU and the UK to be resolved urgently, RTE's Europe editor reported on Monday.

World, Nov 09 2020

Biden win may impact Brexit trade talks: Irish foreign minister

DUBLIN Joe Biden's election victory may have an impact on a crucial week of British-European Union trade talks after the U.S president-elect's recent intervention in support of Ireland's position, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday.

World, Nov 09 2020