Boris Johnson vows to ‘reform’ Ireland protocol


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“Premier” visits Belfast and raises suspicion in Brussels

Protests at Hillsborough Castle (Northern Ireland) during the visit of Boris Johnson.
Protests at Hillsborough Castle (Northern Ireland) during the visit of Boris Johnson.AP

boris johnson I always considered the Irish issue to be an annoying “mosquito” in Brexit negotiations. Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t been lured into visits to Belfast for fear of a “sting” from the controversial protocol, when the referendum is about to complete six years. A week after fleeing Helsinki to claim an issue pending since leaving the European Union, the “Premier” finally appeared in the capital of Ulster on Monday.

Johnson put forward his intention to “reform” Irish protocol, but did not “break” it outright. On the one hand he assured that there was still “a sensible landing place” with Brussels, but on the other he warned of a “need to act”. The possibility that this action is consumed on Tuesday, with the announcement of a new law that unilaterally suspends parts of the sealed agreement with the European Union, has triggered alarm, but also skepticism. Is.

Johnson’s incursion into Belfast this week coincides with a visit by a delegation of US congressmen, who are concerned about the future and prospect of the Good Friday peace deal. social unrest. The Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney meanwhile reminded the “Premier” that a “difficult summer” awaits his country if it decides to open a trade war with the European Union, against the backdrop of the conflict. Ukraine and cost of life crisis.

In any case, Johnson moderated his speech upon arrival in Northern Ireland, aware of the ulcers raised by his foreign secretary, Liz Truss, who began in a friendly tone with Brussels, but with the words “Brexitera”. Was turning to a hard stance to play in the hands. Builds grounds and presents himself as a credible alternative to Johnson if he continues to cut “Partygate.”

in an article The Beefast Telegraph, Johnson himself recalled that the Ireland Protocol was negotiated “in good faith”, although he clearly recognized that it was done hastily before the trade and cooperation agreement with Brussels was approved. The “Premier” stressed that the agreement was preceded by “a global pandemic and a war in Europe that has caused the greatest cost of life crisis in half a century.”

Faced with requests by federalist parties to trash the protocol, Johnson reiterated that it was a “wrong response” and that the solution lay in introduce change (such as creating a “green lane” for British products exclusively for sale in Northern Ireland) and having a “reformed” text by 2024.

The Unionist parties say that the protocol serves to create an internal customs office in the Irish Sea and simply ask that obstacles fall, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Jeffrey Donaldson, however, moderated his speech before Johnson’s visit and left the door open for “reform” of the protocol, but not without the first warning to “Premier”: “Words are not enough.” are us.” We want action”.

For now, the DUP has boycotted the new Stormont assembly and refuses to be part of the “power-sharing” government set out in the Good Friday Agreement. After the historic victory of Sinn Féin, having lost their hegemonic status, the federalists have decided to bet on obstructionism and close their eyes to the evidence: the parties in favor of the Irish Protocol agree to the new distribution of forces by 53 Won 37. ,

Sinn Féin’s local leader and future chief minister, Michelle O’Neill, has accused the federalists of “hijacking” the will of the Northern Irish and recalled that The protocol is guaranteed to avoid returning a hard limit. On the land between two Irelands. O’Neill has been in favor of a negotiated solution with the European Union to revise specific issues of the text agreed at that time.

Northern Irish businessmen have also acted on the matter and asked Johnson not to take “unilateral action” in a letter signed by the 14 most representative unions, which believe a deal with the EU is still likely. . Businessmen expressed regret for being able to maintain little contact with Downing Street and the “political polarization” caused by the protocol.

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