A Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called for a new era of cooperative relations between Ireland and Britain “based on trust”.
r Martin said Dublin and London should “put aside” the post-Brexit dispute of recent years and enter a new phase of relations as talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol are expected to resume on Thursday.
He said he believed there was a “real” will in Ireland, Brussels and the UK to reach an agreement on the protocol. He spoke at the start of Ireland’s reputation: navigating Brexitby Stephen Collins, tonight.
Brexit has changed the nature of the relationship between Ireland and the UK, said Mr Martin, but added that the “breadth and depth” of Anglo-Irish relations should never be forgotten.
“In every way this was a pivotal period in the history of Ireland, the EU and the UK,” he said.
“It was always clear that there would be damage [from Brexit]but the magnitude has exceeded any predictions made before the vote.
“It (Anglo-Irish relations) is about trade, finance, investment, energy, agriculture and food. It’s about culture and art, history. But most importantly, it’s about maintaining personal connections and family ties,” Mr. Martin told those present at the launch.
Mr Martin described Mr Collins’ inquiry into all sides of the Brexit fallout as “timely work” given the current attempt to get negotiations back on track and called for a new phase in the Irish-British dialogue.
This comes as Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said the UK government was “seriously” looking to resolve the protocol impasse.
Mr Coveney said reports of the resumption of protocol negotiations between the EU and the UK on Thursday were “positive news”, adding that the “mood has changed fundamentally”.
He told reporters in Co Donegal: “Both sides have agreed to engage this week for the first time since mid-February.
“So this is a very welcome change of course which the UK government is now seriously addressing rather than proceeding with unilateral action which would certainly have caused many more problems than it solved.”
Mr Coveney said Ireland’s role in the EU-UK protocol talks will “encourage progress”.
“Tomorrow night I will be in London for dinner with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and I will be co-chairing a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference with Foreign Secretary for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris on Friday.
“We will discuss these questions about how together we can resolve the outstanding issues and frustrations with the Northern Ireland Protocol. Of course, this is primarily a London-Brussels negotiation, but obviously the Irish Government has a central role to play in finding solutions.
“The EU has shown a willingness to compromise to try and respond to legitimate concerns that have been raised in Northern Ireland and it remains to be seen whether this reshaped UK government is willing to compromise in order to reach an agreement.
“But certainly the mood music has changed fundamentally, we welcome that and we will not only work on the relationships to rebuild trust but also work on solutions in a practical way and I think that process starts very seriously this week ‘ Mr Coveney said.
Additional reporting by agencies.
https://www.independent.ie/news/taoiseach-calls-for-new-era-in-irish-british-relations-underpinned-by-trust-42044021.html Taoiseach calls for a new era in Irish-British relations ‘underpinned by trust’