News ID: 321525
Published: 0711 GMT May 10, 2022

Irish PM warns UK's Johnson against unilateral action on protocol

Irish PM warns UK's Johnson against unilateral action on protocol

Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin

Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin warned his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday against unilaterally seeking to overrule any of the post-Brexit rules agreed with the European Union for trade in British-run Northern Ireland.

The Times newspaper reported on Monday that British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is set to ditch large parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol governing that trade after giving up on talks with the European Union on a Brexit deal, Reuters reported.

Johnson, for his part, told Martin that the situation regarding the Northern Ireland protocol was now "very serious", adding the government would take action to protect peace and stability if necessary.

"The prime minister reiterated that the UK government would take action to protect peace and political stability in Northern Ireland if solutions could not be found," his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"Despite repeated efforts by the UK government over many months to fix the protocol, including those sections related to the movement of goods and governance, the European Commission had not taken the steps necessary to help address the economic and political disruption on the ground."

Also, a British briefing document published on Tuesday said Britain would take all necessary steps to protect peace in Northern Ireland, urging the European Union to show new imagination in talks to resolve problems with post-Brexit trading rules.

London and Brussels have been trying for months to break the deadlock over the deal, which in effect created a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, Reuters reported.

Britain wants a full overhaul of the agreement, while the EU is looking for changes within the terms of the existing deal.

The stalemate over the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol is blocking the formation of a new executive in the British province following elections last week.

Britain has said it could be forced to act unilaterally to avoid a flare-up in political tensions that might threaten a 1998 peace deal which largely ended decades of sectarian violence.





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