Conditions are ripe for a «rapid conclusion» of talks on the NI . protocol

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said conditions were ripe for a quick conclusion of discussions between the EU and the UK on the Northern Ireland Protocol if participants were «sincere» in their approach.

Describing Brexit as devastating to politics in Northern Ireland, he said, «Unfortunately, huge amounts of time have been wasted on avoidable conflicts and preparing for the systematic collapse of the party’s legitimate democratic institutions. [Belfast] an agreement».

He said the priority should be to address the issues of rooted poverty, provide housing and improve employment opportunities in public services.

«But the sad truth is that Brexit continues to destroy the ability to focus on these issues.»

Speaking at the annual Fianna Fáil Wolfe Tone memorial in Bodenstown, Co Kildare, Mr Martin acknowledged that operating the protocol had caused some problems but that the EU had addressed this.

In the negotiations the EU proposed a «generous and comprehensive set of changes to how goods are handled» between Northern Ireland and Britain.

These changes address the substantive issues raised in Northern Ireland earlier this year. There is an increasingly clear fact – anyone who acts in good faith and wants to find a solution will acknowledge that these proposals are the basis for a quick conclusion of discussions.»

But the British government has repeatedly rejected EU proposals due to the European Court of Justice’s role in dispute mechanisms.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday that «progress must be made soon» in protocol negotiations and that a quick solution was needed to prevent further turmoil in Northern Ireland.

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Mr Martin stressed that “there is absolutely nothing in the protocol agreed between the EU and the UK that violates the principles of [Belfast] an agreement. The principle of consent is as solid as before.”

Defending the European Union

Defending the EU’s approach, he said that from the first moment it had been the strongest, most honest and consistent supporter of the agreement.

No one has the right to lecture the European Union about protecting the agreement that it has done so much to nurture.

“It has been pointed out that there are those who simply do not intend to allow Brexit to fade away as an everyday political issue and that they do not intend to honor agreements that respect the right of the European Union to regulate and protect its internal affairs. Market.

“Because if that were the case, it would be reckless and destructive — causing damage that history will record as benefiting no one and causing grave damage.”

Mr Martin added that «the work we have shared with various British governments in bringing peace and creating a fresh start continues to be one of the greatest achievements in the history of democracy in these islands.»

He warned that «respecting the protocol, respecting the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland and implementing the major changes proposed to liberalize trade between East and West is the only way to safeguard what has been achieved in the transition from our darkest days to a new beginning.»

The protocol aims to avoid a difficult border in Ireland and allows Northern Ireland to trade freely with both the European Union and Britain.

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