Taoiseach told Boris Johnson there is a “false narrative” surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol

Taoiseach Micheal Martin told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson there was a “false narrative” about the European Commission’s flexibility in the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiations.

Today Mr Johnson told the European Union no “drama” was needed as he doubled down on hints he could override elements of his post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

Speaking to parliamentary party Fianna Fáil tonight, Mr Martin gave a detailed breakdown of his “frank and honest” phone conversation with Mr Johnson following the North’s general election.

The Taoiseach told the Prime Minister that “appropriate and professional intensification talks” between the EU and the UK were needed to resolve the issue surrounding the controversial post-Brexit trade deal.

Mr Martin told his TDs and Senators he had expressed his “serious concerns” about Mr Johnson taking unilateral action on the Brexit deal, which the Prime Minister has threatened to do if he does not get the concessions he is asking for.

Mr Martin said the Irish and UK governments have a shared responsibility for upholding and implementing the Good Friday Agreement. He said this could only be achieved if the UK and Irish governments “work together for the common cause”.

The Taoiseach said he had “challenged the misrepresentation” that the European Commission was inflexible on the protocol.

“That is simply wrong and must be questioned at every opportunity,” he added.

He praised the work of EU Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, who he said had done “an extraordinary amount of work” to make progress in the negotiations.

The Taoiseach said a package of “flexibilities and mitigations” to the Northern Ireland Protocol had been tabled last year and that it was now time for Britain to respond to those concessions in good faith.

He also said he spoke to leaders of all parties in the north after the assembly vote and said everyone respected the result of the election and wanted to get back to work

“Everyone comes from different perspectives, but the stated desire to get the assembly and executive back to meaningful work survived the election,” he said.
Earlier today, Britain’s Prime Minister said the Good Friday Agreement was more important than the Northern Ireland Protocol as he dismissed suggestions of a possible escalating EU response as “crazy”.

He said the protocol is failing to support unionists in the region, adding “we need to sort it out,” despite warnings from Joe Biden’s White House and European leaders not to single-handedly interfere in the deal he brokered.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is set to tell the EU the dispute over Northern Ireland cannot drag on after warning she will “not hesitate” to take action as she accused the EU of proposing solutions that would “bring us back”. .

Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that “no one should unilaterally cancel, break or in any way attack the settlement”.

Amid suggestions that unilateral action by the UK amid the invasion of Ukraine could trigger a trade war, Mr Johnson told BBC News: “Let’s be honest, we’re really talking about a very, very small part of the whole European economy and I think 0.4 per cent of the value of the total EU economy in Northern Ireland.

“It’s crazy. I didn’t think drama was necessary. This is something that simply needs to be fixed.”

Later, speaking to ITV’s Peston programme, Brexit Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said the UK would not interfere in a possible trade war with the EU.

“Retaliation of this kind is the economics of campus and would hurt UK consumers at a time of rising (prices),” he said.

Speaking at an earlier press conference in Sweden, Mr Johnson said: “The most important agreement is the 25-year-old Good Friday Agreement in Belfast.

“This is vital to the stability of our country of Great Britain, Northern Ireland.

“And it has to be that things have to rule over community support.”

A White House spokesman stressed the need for talks to further resolve the issues.

“The best path forward is a pragmatic path that requires courage, collaboration and leadership,” he added.

“We urge the parties to continue dialogue to resolve differences and bring negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

Democratic Unionist Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson reiterated his call for the UK government to take action.

“The sooner that happens, the better.

“The protocol is unsupported by any union MLA elected to the convention last week.

“We cannot proceed with the situation where there is no consensus at all for this protocol,” he told the BBC.

After becoming the largest party in Stormont, Sinn Féin refuses to rejoin the power-sharing government until problems with protocol are resolved.

https://www.independent.ie/news/taoiseach-told-boris-johnson-there-is-a-false-narrative-around-the-northern-ireland-protocol-41641068.html Taoiseach told Boris Johnson there is a “false narrative” surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol

Fry Electronics Team

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