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Published: 16:15, May 16, 2022 | Updated: 20:57, May 16, 2022
Ireland: EU ready to work with UK but protocol must be kept
By Reuters
Published:16:15, May 16, 2022 Updated:20:57, May 16, 2022 By Reuters

A poster reading "No Irish Sea Border" is pictured atttached to a lmap post outside of Larne port, north of Belfast in Northern Ireland on Feb 3, 2022. (PAUL FAITH / AFP)

BRUSSELS - Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that the European Union is ready to talk with Britain to resolve the issues in their Northern Irish trade dispute, but the current treaty of the Northern Ireland Protocol must remain.

"This is about responding to the demands of Northern Ireland as a whole. Let's not forget, Northern Ireland voted against Brexit," he said in Brussels at an EU foreign ministers meeting in which he said counterparts asked him for an update on the situation with London.

Britain wants to make significant changes to the enforcement of the protocol in negotiations with the EUbut Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes this is possible within the existing framework, his spokesman said on Monday

"But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying accomodate other positions. That's the approach we need to take, not threats of unilateral action, which are deeply unhelpful," he said of British calls to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol.

Meanwhile, Britain wants to make significant changes to the enforcement of the protocol in negotiations with the EUbut Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes this is possible within the existing framework, his spokesman said on Monday.

Asked if Johnson was seeking to get rid of the protocol, his spokesman said: "We believe the protocol as drafted allows for further negotiations and for further improvements and enhancements to be made, to enable it... to work properly for the long term."

ALSO READ: N. Ireland first minister quits over post-Brexit trade rules

"We want to make significant changes to how the protocol is being enforced using sensible flexibility that was envisaged when it was drafted... we think there is a sensible landing spot within the protocol"


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