Make a decision! As the Brexit conflict heats up, Boris retaliates against the Irish PM in a new phone call.
BORIS JOHNSON has informed his Dublin colleague that “pragmatism” is required to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol’s problems.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister spoke with Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin by phone. Their conversation comes as tensions over the Brexit trade deal and the Northern Ireland protocol are increasing.
In a joint statement, the Prime Minister urged the European Union to have an open mind about possible solutions to the “severe difficulties” that Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom face.
“The Prime Minister emphasized that the way the Protocol is now operating is creating substantial difficulty for the people of Northern Ireland,” a Downing Street spokesman said.
“He reaffirmed the UK government’s commitment to safeguarding the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all of its forms.
“He stated that the EU must demonstrate pragmatism and that solutions to the Protocol’s severe issues must be found.
“The Prime Minister stated that the UK Government will present its position on the Northern Ireland Protocol to Parliament tomorrow.”
Mr Johnson was promised that any recommendations to change the Protocol would be “seriously studied,” according to the Irish government.
Mr Martin, on the other hand, emphasized the use of the “EU-UK framework for Protocol matters.”
On Monday, Lord David Frost told Parliament’s European Scrutiny Committee that ministers were “considering all alternatives” to overcome difficulties with the Protocol, including triggering a clause that would allow the deal to be unilaterally overruled.
Meanwhile, Mr Martin warned Prime Minister May that there can be “no pre-determined solution” when it comes to ideas to deal with Northern Ireland’s legacy.
The Taoiseach expressed “serious concerns” to Mr Johnson about measures proposed last week in Westminster that would impose a statute of limitations for crimes committed during the Troubles.
“The Taoiseach discussed legacy issues, including severe reservations about the British Government’s proposals,” the Irish government said in a statement.
“He emphasized that the current consultation process cannot have a pre-determined outcome.”
It comes as the UK prepares to present its Northern Ireland Protocol proposal on Wednesday.
Following Lord Frost’s announcement, Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis will read the statement in the Commons.
On Monday, sources told Reuters that Britain would threaten to back out of the Brexit deal this week unless the EU showed more flexibility on Northern Ireland.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” by Maro efovi, Vice President of the European Commission.