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Boris Johnson withdraws from threat of Northern Ireland protocol ahead of talks | Northern Ireland




Boris Johnson will vow not to rescind the Brexit agreement that governs Northern Ireland and will instead support the reform that has the widest possible inter-community support, in an effort to reduce tensions over the issue.

In a change of tone ahead of urgent talks in Belfast on Monday, the prime minister will make it clear that he has no intention of canceling the so-called Northern Ireland protocol, which he claims is causing significant disruptions in trade between Britain and Greater and Northern Ireland. .

Officials said Johnson intended to send a stern message to Northern Ireland party leaders. He will beg them to return to work after the Democratic unionists blocked the election of a chairman in the Stormont Assembly on Friday. The move means the assembly is unable to function.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said his party’s move was a protest against the impact the protocol had on trade across the Irish Sea. Such goods have a number of controls that have established a de facto trade border between the UK and Northern Ireland. In an effort to push the DUP into re-engagement, Johnson means that any action by his government to change the protocol should lead to all parties coming together to form an executive and assembly.

But after threats from Secretary of State Liz Truss to bypass large parts of the protocol, the prime minister is expected to have a less harsh tone. Johnson will tell the leaders of Northern Ireland next week that we will always keep the door open for real dialogue, but that there will be a need to act if the EU does not allow significant changes in the way the protocol is working in practice. Whitehall individuals also say any legislation on the issue is somewhat far-fetched, without presenting anything to the cabinet yet.

Johnson will make it clear that the government has never suggested the abolition of the protocol and that there will always have to be a treaty between the UK and the EU that prevents a strong border on the island of Ireland. It will also recognize the need to protect the integrity of the EU common market.

However, he will call for reforms to address trade issues that UK government figures say are jeopardizing the Good Friday deal. Critics say repeated threats to the protocol from UK figures have posed far more significant risks to the historic deal.

It comes as the US has a close interest in tackling Northern Ireland. President Biden last week urged Johnson not to violate Northern Ireland protocol. A vigorous delegation of U.S. congressional representatives will also fly to London within days, in another sign of concern at the White House.

Johnson will claim that there is no disguise the fact that the delicate balance of the Good Friday deal has been upset by protocol. He will call on the UK and EU to share the common goal that trade rules in Northern Ireland enjoy the widest possible inter-communal support when faced with a regional assembly vote of consent in 2024.

On Saturday, Labor accused the prime minister of trying to provoke a trade war with Brussels that would exacerbate the cost of living crisis that is already hitting families. David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, said the repeated attacks on Northern Ireland protocol came at the worst possible time.

Instead of finding practical solutions, they are planning a trade war in a cost-of-living crisis, Lammy told the center-left conference in Progressive Britain. Making Brexit work requires state craftsmanship, diligence and bribery, not Boris Johnsons to destroy the ball. The people of Northern Ireland deserve a responsible government, but instead we have a prime minister who cannot be trusted and a government willing to break international law.

And that comes at the worst possible moment. Europe is facing the most serious security crisis in a generation. There is a war on our continent. Millions of people have fled their homes. The countries have joined in support of Ukraine. It is wrong, short-sighted and unjust to seek dissension with our European allies as we face this common threat.




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