Irish PM urges UK to adhere to post-brexit trade agreement

Saturday, May 21, 2022
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Renegotiation of the Northern Ireland Protocol

The renegotiation of the Northern Irish Protocol could spell instability‚ uncertainty and unpredictability for the country. The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson met with vice president Sefcovic in person‚ accusing him of dismissing warnings by unionists and ignoring the will of the people of Northern Ireland. The DUP leader also questioned the legitimacy of the EU-Norwegian deal.

As Washington threatened London with war‚ the Irish Premier Minister Micheal Mart urged Friday's UK government to support its post-Brexit trade agreements in Northern Ireland. Martin visited Belfast after anger from both sides over a UK promise to reform the Northern Ireland Protocol. This was part of Britain's Brexit deal with the European Union. Unionists in Northern Ireland are furious at the requirement to check goods coming from England‚ Scotland‚ and Wales. They claim it creates a divide between Northern Ireland and the rest. They refuse to be part of a power-sharing government that governs Belfast until this issue has been resolved. This will force its suspension. Martin said that there is no alternative to substantive negotiations between the European Union government and the United Kingdom government regarding the resolution of issues related to the Protocol. There is hope for a solution to these issues‚ but a negotiated agreement will be the best way. Nancy Pelosi (the speaker of the US House of Representatives) warned hours earlier that the UK might forget about free trade deals if the protocol was rewritten. Pelosi tweets that it is alarming that the United Kingdom wants to unilaterally abandon the Northern Ireland Protocol. This preserves the significant progress and stability forged through the (1998 Good Friday) Accords. These Accords ended years of bloodshed in Northern Ireland. The Congress will not accept a bilateral trade agreement with the UK if the United Kingdom attempts to undermine the Good Friday Accords. - Committed - On Friday‚ a delegation from the US Congress flew to Brussels and joined Maros Sefcovic (Vice-President of European Commission) in presenting a united front against Britain. Sefcovic tweets that we are equally dedicated to the Good Friday (Belfast)‚ Agreement. Only joint solutions to implement the Protocol will work. Richard Neal‚ a US Congressman‚ stated that unity is the greatest strength of the United States and @EU_Commission. Britain claims that the protocol must be changed to end political paralysis in Northern Ireland and that it has plans for a back-up plan in case talks with Brussels fail. Martin dismissed earlier accusations of the EU being rigid and encouraged the largest unionist party in Belfast to join the executive. For the first time‚ Sinn Fein is the largest party in Northern Ireland's history. Michelle ONeill‚ Sinn Fein's first minister in executive is being considered. This position is equivalent to that of the deputy first minister‚ which ensures a balance between nationalists and unionists. However her nomination is symbolic because it represents a pro-Irish party's historic claim to be the first minister in the executive. Martin stated that the European Union repeatedly said we could move forward on certain issues. The Democratic Unionist Party‚ he claimed‚ held the assembly hostage by refusing nominations for ministers following recent elections. Martin said that it was impossible to have one party deciding which political parties cannot convene in the parliament. Jeffrey Donaldson‚ DUP leader‚ said that the Brexit Protocol had altered the delicate balance between Northern Ireland and the UK needed to allow power-sharing. According to him‚ power-sharing can only be done with the agreement of nationalists or unionists. We must make new arrangements in order to continue our progress... The protocol has caused irreparable damage to both the economic and democratic structures of Northern Ireland. This must be replaced with arrangements that are both popular among nationalists and unionists. - Green channel? - Protocol recognized Northern Ireland's post-conflict status and shared the UKs land border with EU. The Good Friday Agreement mandated that Ireland's border be kept open to EU members‚ as it was an often-flashpoint in three decades of violence. It also means that checks must be done elsewhere to stop goods from getting in the EU single markets and customs union through Northern Ireland. Britain proposes to create a green channel that allows British traders to ship goods to Northern Ireland‚ without having to declare customs to the EU. The US's interest in the Good Friday Agreement stems from its role as a broker. However‚ Pelosis' warnings seemed to be irritating some of the UKs Conservatives as well as Unionists from Northern Ireland. Nancy Pelosi must recognize that the protocol is causing harm and undermining this agreement if she wants it to be protected. Donaldson stated that we should deal with that. bur-jj/phz/pvh