Boris Johnson calls for ‘sensible’ solution to Northern Ireland trade dispute

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a “sensible” solution to the dispute over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade arrangements with the European Union was possible ahead of a visit to the region on Monday, but he reiterated that if Brussels does not Act, and London will act unilaterally. concession.

At the start of a week when he is expected to sign off on a legal plan, Unilaterally scrapped parts In Brexit deal, Johnson urges local parties to “get back to work”, elect Stormont speaker article For the Belfast Telegraph.

Northern Ireland’s largest trade union party, the Democratic Unionist Party, is boycotting local institutions until it successfully demands the removal of customs borders in the Irish Sea after Brexit, which it says would undermine the region’s standing in the UK.

Johnson, who will meet party leaders in the region and visit the Belfast missile factory of French aerospace and defence group Thales, has softened his suggestion that he would undermine post-Brexit trade arrangements, known as the Northern Ireland deal, which The agreement keeps the region in the EU’s internal single market and conducts customs checks on goods entering from the UK.

“Those who want to scrap the deal rather than seek change are focusing on the wrong things,” Johnson wrote ahead of talks with the leaders of the five largest parties at Hillsborough Castle.

“We will always leave the door open for real dialogue . . . there is no doubt a reasonable landing point where everyone’s interests are protected.”

London asked Brussels for more flexibility on the terms of the agreement. “I hope there is a change in the EU’s position. If not, action will be necessary . . . we will present to Parliament a more detailed assessment and next steps in the coming days,” Johnson wrote.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney welcomed Johnson’s “more conciliatory” tone, telling reporters in Brussels that “hopefully this will continue today”.

But DUP leader Sir Geoffrey Donaldson said the deal was undermining economic and political stability and must be scrapped. “Words don’t suit me. I need to act,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.

Protesters, fearing that scrapping the deal would lead to a new hard border on the island of Ireland, plan to deliver a letter to Johnson outlining their concerns.

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald Win the May 5 election In Northern Ireland, the DUP’s boycott was described as “unacceptable” and said it was also worrying for Washington.

“He’s so reckless [Johnson] Threats of unilateral action are sought again to violate international law and engage in full-scale conflict with European institutions, the Dublin government and the US government,” she told the BBC.

Additional reporting by Sam Fleming in Brussels

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