Issues with Northern Ireland Protocol may be resolved ahead of Good Friday Agreement milestone – Ahern

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he believed issues related to the Northern Ireland Protocol could be resolved ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Ahern said he was confident the deal’s anniversary could be celebrated in April with an agreement on outstanding protocol issues.

Talks between the UK and the EU to resolve the impasse on the controversial Brexit trade deals continue, with both sides insisting a deal is possible.

“The technical problems of the protocol can, I believe, be resolved,” Mr Ahern told BBC One’s Sunday Politics Northern Ireland programme.

“I understand that unionists and loyalists have constitutional concerns. They have concerns that need to be worked out and we must consider their views and try to find solutions to allay the concerns and fears. I think that is very important.”

The former leader of Fianna Fáil said “a lot of progress” had been made on protocol issues.

“Hopefully that can be done in the first few weeks of next year,” Mr. Ahern added.

“Concerns about the constitutional issues… we have to deal with loyalists and unionists and hopefully that can happen.

“So I’m confident that we can really celebrate in April and not like it’s currently.”

Devolved government in Stormont has been in flux since February, when the DUP withdrew its first minister from the ministerial executive in protest at the Northern Ireland protocol of Brexit.

The DUP has insisted it will not allow a return to power-sharing until radical changes are made to protocol.

The region’s largest trade union party has blocked the formation of a new government after May’s general election, preventing the assembly from transacting legislative business as part of its protest at the protocol.

It claims the Protocol undermined Northern Ireland’s place within the UK by creating economic barriers to trade entering the region from Britain. Issues with Northern Ireland Protocol may be resolved ahead of Good Friday Agreement milestone – Ahern

Fry Electronics Team

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