Taoiseach Micheal Martin has used Boris Johnson’s resignation to call on the UK government to back off from its unilateral approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
r Martin admitted Britain-Ireland relations have been strained lately but wished Johnson well after announcing his retirement.
In a statement, Mr Martin said: “Prime Minister Johnson has led the UK Government at a particularly challenging time, including managing the impact of Covid-19 and responding to the war on Ukraine.
“Personally, I am aware that he has endured a difficult few weeks and following the announcement of his retirement I wish him and his family my best wishes for the future.
“Britain is Ireland’s closest neighbor and the relationship between our two countries is long, deep and enduring.
“The close partnership between our two governments is an important basis for peace and prosperity on these islands.
“While Prime Minister Johnson and I have actively engaged, we have not always been in agreement and the relationship between our governments has been strained and challenged of late.
“Our shared responsibilities in administering the Good Friday Agreement, as well as nurturing broader bilateral relationships between us, require that we work together in a spirit of respect, trust and partnership.
“Now this is more important than ever and I urge once again to refrain from going it alone, be it dealing with the legacy of the past, human rights or the Northern Ireland Protocol.”
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said Boris Johnson’s interactions with Ireland had been “completely negative and he will not be missed”.
She said she had no sympathy for his personal plight over the past few weeks.
“Under his leadership, we have seen an attack on the Good Friday Agreement, threat after threat to break international law. Boris Johnson’s government brought austerity to the people of Northern Ireland and of course he championed Brexit and brought it to us all – the disaster that Brexit is.
“I think it has to be said very clearly that whoever succeeds Boris Johnson as Prime Minister now has to change direction and change course. We need the Assembly and Executive established without further delay in the north of Ireland.
“Michelle O’Neill has returned as First Minister-Elect. We need a government that serves the people, and we need it very, very quickly. We have a cost of living crisis under control.
“We need a UK government that respects international law, honors its commitments under the Good Friday Agreement and understands without a doubt that Ireland will not be the collateral damage to Tory Brexit.”
Referring to the North, she said his only concern was “to appease the DUP and to promote the most negative reactionary currents of political unionism, all in a boastful attempt to stay in power himself”.
She added: “It was always about him, we need leadership now that is about fulfilling international obligations.”
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/taoiseach-micheal-martin-urges-uk-to-pull-back-on-northern-ireland-protocol-as-boris-johnson-resigns-41822271.html Taoiseach Micheal Martin urges UK to withdraw Northern Ireland Protocol as Boris Johnson resigns