Brussels negotiators have travelled to London promising to bend and break their own rules with new proposals to cool tensions over the implementation of Northern Ireland Protocol.
The talks, due to start on Thursday, could end months of post-Brexit bickering between the bloc and the British Government.
Here are the four key ways the EU plans to reform the Protocol, which officials insist go "far beyond tinkering at the edges".
The EU has promised to eliminate at least half of the customs controls on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom. A system, similar to Brexiteers' favoured "maximum facilitation" option, would be drawn up to monitor more closely the trade flows between the mainland and the province.
Using real-time data, European customs officials would monitor trade across the Irish Sea to establish a risk-based system that would allow businesses in the province to submit simplified paperwork for any shipments from Great Britain.
Under the plan, the EU and UK will draw up a list of products that are not deemed to be at risk of entering the single Market, across the invisible border with the Republic of Ireland. Goods on this register would not be subjected to trade tariffs and could use an "express lane" to enter the province from Britain with little to no checks.
To protect the integrity of the EU single market, the bloc has proposed implementing special safeguards, such as enhanced surveillance of trade flows and termination clauses. The bloc wants to monitor every step in the supply chain to ensure only products meeting its standards can enter Northern Ireland.
Sanitary and phytosanitary requirements
With the UK opposed to aligning to the EU's animal and plant health rules, the European Commission's proposals aim to do away with about 80 per cent of checks needed for meat and plants being shipped to Northern Ireland. Officials say their offer is bespoke and goes beyond anything on offer to non-EU members.
To end the so-called Brexit sausage war, EU and UK negotiators will draw up a list of food products that are deemed to be of significant national importance, such as Cumberland sausages, that will be excluded from existing embargoes currently imposed by the bloc.
One of the main proposals by Brussels is to drastically cut the amount of paperwork businesses must submit when sending food products to the province. Normally, firms would require a separate customs declaration for each different type of food, but now lorries, even carrying 100 different products, will only require one form.
The EU, however, refused to offer any concessions on the movement of pets, such as dogs, cats and ferrets, between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. The Commission said the introduction of pet passports would only be possible if the UK agrees to dynamically align to the bloc's animal and food safety rules.
The EU is ready to offer a derogation allowing pharmaceutical firms based in Britain to continue supplying cheap generic medicines to Northern Ireland. Drugs companies on the mainland will not be required to move their regulatory functions to the bloc, which is not currently allowed under EU rules.
In practice, this means companies will not have to move a large chunk of their operation to Northern Ireland in order to ensure they can keep selling their wares in the province.
The Commission proposed the solution after it became clear companies could increase prices, or even halt shipments, in the area to cover the extra costly regulatory processes required to put drugs sourced in Britain on the market in Northern Ireland.
Normally, EU's medicines regulation means that products being imported into the single market are required to undergo quality control tests at a facility inside the bloc. The proposals mean these controls will be able to take place at existing facilities in mainland Britain.
The European Commission drastically wants to improve dialogue with stakeholders in Northern Ireland over the functioning and implementation of the Protocol.
Under its proposals, the EU will set up structured forums to discuss problems that arise from the measures to avoid a hard border with civil society and businesses in the region, with the aim of making the application of the Protocol more transparent.
Officials will have to confirm what areas these discussions would cover with the UK, but the EU envisages them covering mainly customs procedures and health policy – two key pillars of the bloc's offer to mitigate disruptions caused by the Protocol.
Northern Irish stakeholders will also be invited to attend some meetings of the UK-EU specialised committees set up to manage the Protocol. The proposals also set out plans to strengthen ties between Stormont and the EU-UK parliamentary assembly set-up as part of the Brexit Trade and Co-operation Agreement.
The EU will also set up a website to show what EU legislation has a direct effect on the people and businesses of Northern Ireland and how the rules impact the region.
The move could be designed to allay concerns over the perceived anti-democratic nature of EU judges continuing to have jurisdiction in Northern Ireland.