EU ready to work with Britain but protocol must be respected

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Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday, May 16 that the European Union (EU) is ready to work with Britain to resolve the Northern Ireland border issues, but that the protocol must be respected.

The minister, who was responding to the statements from British ministers over the weekend, told foreign ministers in Brussels (reported by Reuters): “This is about responding to the demands of Northern Ireland as a whole. Let’s not forget, Northern Ireland voted against Brexit.”

“But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying to accommodate other positions. That’s the approach we need to take, not threats of unilateral action, which are deeply unhelpful.”

The minister was responding to questions from a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, after there were calls from some ministers in the UK to take unilateral action and suspend the agreement with the EU.

Although legal experts have said that the UK cannot take unilateral decisions without penalty, some ministers appear hell-bent on doing so.

Opposition ministers and business organisations have reminded the government that breaking treaties and the law makes a mockery of the country’s attempts to play a bigger role on the international stage. Some have even said Russian President Vladimir Putin is praying for the day Britain does make the mistake of breaking the treaty, saying it will play into his hands.

Ireland is not the only country that has said the protocol must be respected, with the US sending a delegation to the UK to express concerns over ministers’ statements and to see how they can help to bring about a satisfactory resolution.


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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.



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