<img class="js-image-replace" alt="File photo dated 12/3/2019 of Union and EU flags flying outside the Palace of Westminster, London" src="https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/E6D7/production/_113359095_55f5f0f0-8efd-4806-8153-0b491ed2827d.jpg" width="976" height="600"/><span class="off-screen">Image copyright</span>
<span class="story-image-copyright">Steve Parsons/PA Wire</span>
</figure><p class="story-body__introduction">The "window of opportunity" for the UK and EU to resolve how to implement the NI part of the Brexit deal is "rapidly closing," the EU has said.</p>
A joint UK-EU committee held its third meeting on Monday.
The Stormont Executive’s junior ministers Gordon Lyons and Declan Kearney took part by video conference.
The meeting came at the start of the latest round of talks about the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said he had reiterated the “urgent need” for the UK and EU to accelerate their work in the coming weeks.
“Many difficult issues remain and the UK position is far apart from what the EU can accept,” he told a press conference in Brussels after the meeting.
Mr Šefčovič said the two sides also remain at odds on whether NI businesses will be required to complete a piece of administration known as exit summary declaration forms for goods going to the rest of the UK.
The prime minister has repeatedly promised no new paperwork for trade moving from NI-GB.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is in Brussels for the talks about the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.
The Brexit deal, which was agreed in October, treats Northern Ireland differently from other parts of the UK through what is known as the Northern Ireland protocol.