Negotiations between the UK and EU on revising post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland have made progress.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar stated that the talks are moving towards a conclusion, although an agreement is not yet guaranteed.
This development comes amid weeks of intensive but fraught discussions to ease trade checks which were introduced under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Political commentators suggest a deal is imminent given the recall of Conservative MPs to Parliament for a special sitting.
The week that began on Monday, February 20 saw intense talks between the UK and EU to revise post-Brexit trading arrangements covering Northern Ireland.
The discussions were based around the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was agreed upon in 2019 and came into play in 2021.
This Protocol was perceived by many to be the only practical means of preventing a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, thus preserving the Good Friday agreement.
The talks aimed to ease the checks introduced under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
On February 25, progress was reported by the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, who stated that the UK and EU were inching towards a conclusion.
The remarks by the Prime Minister were cautious, however, as he added that negotiators still had a gap to close.
The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, also remarked that a deal was imminent.
The Northern Ireland Protocol is a controversial issue that has since been the source of much tension between the UK and EU. The revisions are being met with cautious optimism, with Japanese investment bank Nomura saying a deal would be a "big positive.
" On the other hand, Conservative MP David Jones urged the UK government to ditch the Protocol altogether.
Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's planned visit to the UK has been called off; instead, officials have confirmed that talks will continue remotely.