Johnson tells Martin that substantial differences remain over Northern Ireland trade

Relations between Brussels and London have deteriorated in recent weeks
Johnson tells Martin that substantial differences remain over Northern Ireland trade

Thomson Reuters

British prime minister Boris Johnson told Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Wednesday that significant gaps remain between Britain and the European Union on trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Relations between Brussels and London have deteriorated in recent weeks after Britain, unhappy with the deal it signed up to in 2020, threatened to trigger an emergency clause known as Article 16, potentially leading to a trade war.

Since leaving the EU last year Britain has delayed the introduction of some border checks that were designed to avoid the need for a hard border on the island of Ireland. London says the checks are disproportionate and threaten Northern Ireland's 1998 peace deal.

"The prime minister raised his ongoing concern about the substantial distance between the UK and EU positions when it comes to resolving the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol," a spokesperson for Mr Johnson said after the call.

Mr Martin said in a tweet he had told Mr Johnson it remained his view that every effort should be made to secure a successful outcome to the current EU/UK negotiations.

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