Good Friday Agreements: Irish Prime Minister urges Boris Johnson to ‘back off’
Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin has urged Boris Johnson, who resigned as Prime Minister on Thursday (July 7), to desist from unilateral action under the Northern Ireland protocol before he leaves.
In a statement following Boris Johnson’s announcement, Micheál Martin called for change on several issues relating to Northern Ireland. “Our joint responsibilities regarding the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement [l’accord de paix pour l’Irlande du Nord]as well as the development of broader bilateral relations between us, require that we work together in a spirit of respect, trust and partnership”did he declare.
“This is now more important than ever, and I call once again to refrain from any unilateral action, whether dealing with the legacy of the past, human rights or the protocol on the ‘North Ireland. We now have the opportunity to return to the true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that is necessary to build on the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement. »
Tensions between the UK, EU and Ireland have risen in recent months, when London introduced a bill that would allow it to scrap key parts of the protocol and pushed forward a bill that would establish a statute of limitations for the prosecution of crimes committed by British forces during the Troubles, a 30-year period marked by violence and political unrest.
“Britain is our closest neighbour”said Mr Martin, speaking after Mr Johnson resigned. “It is extremely important that we have a very strong and deeply rooted relationship economically, socially, culturally and, of course, in terms of the roles of the respective governments as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement… It is right to to say that lately this relationship has been put to the test. »
“I think opportunities may now arise to reset this relationship”he added, “particularly to avoid unilateralism and reverse the unilateralism that has been evident with regard to inheritance, human rights as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and its relation to the Good Friday Agreement and, of course, unilateralism with regard to the protocol itself”.
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