Sterling has risen in value against the euro this week to 84.2p = €1, the highest level since February 2020.

Within a month of the previous highest value for sterling, the rate had fallen by 10p to 94.5p = €1 as the possibility of a no-deal Brexit loomed.

That kept the exchange rate volatile for much of the period leading up the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which was signed in December.

There was much speculation that if there had been no deal, the euro would be at parity with sterling. However, since the start of the year when the TCA came into effect, sterling has progressively strengthened against the euro from 90.4p in January to 84.2p this week.

Strengthening sterling makes Irish exports more competitive in the British market and will certainly favour Irish beef going to the UK for the traditional Christmas trade.

Clearly, the uncertainty around the Northern Ireland protocol is having no negative impact on the UK currency.

After the EU setting out its proposals for relaxing certification and inspection on goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain, the EU and UK are now into negotiations following the meeting between Lord Frost and Maroš Šefcovic in Brussels on Friday.

With many of the practical issues dealt with by the EU proposals, the crunch issue appears to be the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing the agreement.