The first round of new talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol they were “constructive,” British officials said.
However, major gaps remain, in particular on the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
EU and UK officials held technical talks in Brussels last week and an EU team will arrive in London on Tuesday to continue negotiations.
The main negotiators, Lord Frost and Maroš Šefčovič, are expected to meet at the end of next week.
A European Commission spokesperson declined to comment on the talks.
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Protocol is the Brexit deal that prevents a hard border with Ireland by keeping Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market for goods.
This also creates a new trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, something the EU accepts is causing difficulties for many businesses.
Unionist politicians say the deal undermines Northern Ireland’s place in the UK.
The EU has suggested a reform package that would reduce the practical impacts of the protocol.
The UK wants a more fundamental change, including the removal of the European Court of Justice from its oversight role in the agreement.
A UK government source said: “This week’s talks have been constructive and we have heard some things from the EU that we can work with.
“This week there has been a lot of speculation about governance, but our position remains unchanged: the role of the European Court of Justice in resolving disputes between the UK and the EU must end.
“We need to see real progress soon rather than getting stuck in a never-ending negotiation process.
“If we can establish this momentum soon it will help us determine if we can close the gap or if we need to use Article 16.”
Article 16 is the part of the agreement that allows for the temporary suspension of parts of the protocol if they cause serious difficulties or lead to traffic diversions.
If one party makes use of Article 16, the other may take “proportionate rebalancing measures”.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has suggested that the talks have an approximate deadline of the end of December.
He told the Press Association news agency that there is a limited “window” within which the EU is willing to find solutions.
“I think this window is now being offered to the UK government if they want to use it to find a way to implement the protocol in a way that responds to the vast majority of the issues and problems that have been raised,” he said.
“I cannot tell you when the EU decides that this approach will get us nowhere if there is no agreement.
“But I certainly think there is a window between now and the end of December, when the EU, I think, will be open to continue the dialogue and try to find a way to make this work.”
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