By Deirdre Tynan • 12 June 2021 • 16:46
The UK is a single country but EU leaders do not understand, said Johnson.
The EU does not get that the UK is a single country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said after meetings with EU leaders on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Cornwall today.
The Prime Minister met European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President, Charles Michel, at the G7 Summit in Cornwall as well as a separate bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s head of state, Angela Merkel, on June 12.
“They discussed the ongoing issues with the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Prime Minister made it clear that the UK is committed to finding practical solutions within the framework of the Protocol which protect the aims of the Good Friday Agreement and minimise the impact on the day to day lives of people in Northern Ireland,” the government said in a statement on June 12.
But speaking with Sky News, the Prime Minister said, “I think we can sort it out, but it is up to our EU friends and partners to understand that we will do whatever it takes,” he said. “If the protocol continues to be applied in this way, then we will obviously not hesitate to invoke article 16, as I have said before”.
Some EU leaders he said, “Do seem to misunderstand that the UK is a single country, a single territory. I just need to get that into their heads”.
Following the meetings, a spokesman for Johnson said, “The prime minister’s focus is to work within the protocol; that is currently our approach.”
No 10’s official readout of the meeting with Merkel said Johnson “underlined the UK’s position on the Northern Ireland protocol and the need to maintain both the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the UK”.
UK-EU talks floundered earlier this week as an ongoing trade dispute between London and Brussels jeopardises UK food exports to Northern Ireland.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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