Taoiseach criticises British government over ‘spirit of partnership’ failure

Micheál Martin made the comments as political leaders gathered in Guernsey on Friday as part of the 37th British-Irish Council Summit.
Taoiseach criticises British government over ‘spirit of partnership’ failure

By Cate McCurry, PA

The Taoiseach has hit out at the British government for failing to show a “spirit of partnership” over tackling issues on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Micheál Martin praised the partnership between the EU and the UK over its response to the war in Ukraine, but said he regretted it was lacking over Brexit issues.

Mr Martin made the comments as political leaders gathered in Guernsey on Friday as part of the 37th British-Irish Council (BIC) Summit.

Mr Martin and other political leaders were discussing the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, climate change, support for the people of Ukraine, and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Fianna Fáil leader briefed the BIC on his recent visit to Ukraine and the “terrible devastation” inflicted on that country by the Russian invasion.

A spokesman for the Government said it is resolute in its support for and solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“The Taoiseach welcomed the partnership between the EU and the UK in responding to the war on Ukraine,” the spokesman added.

“The Taoiseach regretted that the same spirit of partnership has been lacking when it comes to Northern Ireland and addressing issues around implementation of the NI Protocol.

“Unilateral action by the British Government is in breach of international law and is not conducive to making real progress.

 

“Nor is it based on the best interests of people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

“The Taoiseach said ‘partnership, vision and compromise delivered and sustained the Good Friday Agreement. A return to that partnership approach by the UK Government, through honest dialogue and balanced agreement, can resolve the current implementation challenges with the Northern Ireland Protocol’.”

The Taoiseach also briefed colleagues on the Shared Island Initiative, including a recent allocation of €70 million for Shared Island investment projects and inclusive engagement through the Shared Island Dialogue series.

He also joined in discussions on common challenges in meeting climate ambitions and addressing the rising cost of living across the members of the British Irish Council.

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