Serious EU intent to fix Northern Ireland border row, says Irish PM (118 อ่าน)
20 พ.ย. 2564 12:06
Serious EU intent to fix Northern Ireland border row, says Irish PM
There is "serious intent" in the EU to solve post-Brexit difficulties over the Northern Ireland border, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin has said.
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Speaking to the BBC, he said the "mood music" surrounding EU-UK negotiations had improved in recent weeks.
The Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit deal aims to avoid implementing border checks on the island of Ireland.
It keeps Northern Ireland in the EU's single market for goods and allows free-flowing trade with the EU.
But the protocol also creates a trade border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, meaning some goods such as meat and eggs are subject to checks when they enter Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
This has angered some Northern Irish politicians, including DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson who said the protocol was disrupting businesses and harming trade.
In an interview with the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Martin admitted feeling "frustrated" that the issue had hindered the "full flowering" of the two sides' alliance.
And he warned the UK against acting unilaterally, saying it would "undermine" relationships.
The Taoiseach's comments come ahead of a meeting between the UK's Brexit Minister Lord Frost and the EU Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič in Brussels on Friday aimed at resolving problems arising from the protocol.
Speaking immediately before his meeting with Lord Frost, Mr Šefčovič warned the post-Brexit trade deal was "intrinsically linked" to settling the protocol, adding: "One cannot exist without the other".
He ruled out a renegotiation of the protocol, insisting solutions were available within its framework, which could "become reality if the UK plays its part".
Mr Šefčovič welcomed what he said was a "change in tone" from the UK during the negotiations, adding that he hoped "actions will follow the words".