Ireland’s new prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has admitted that a post-Brexit Northern Ireland trade deal is ‘too tough’, igniting hopes for a deal between the UK and the EU to end the dispute over the issue. .
He spoke of the UK’s Brexit Protocol, which created trade barriers between the UK and the UK. Northern Irelandmade the pro-British unionists in the region feel less British and that compromise was possible.
barrackerHaving been involved in the drafting of the Northern Ireland Protocol in 2019, he is an unpopular figure with some of the unionist and loyalist communities in the region during his first term as Taoi Thatch.
The UK and EU hope to reach an agreement to reform the protocol in early 2023, ending their bitter rivalry.
Both sides aim to finalize discussions before April’s 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended years of sectarian conflict and created a power-sharing rally in Stormont.
Difficult issues to solve include checks on the movement of goods from the UK to Northern Ireland. It remains part of the EU Single Market for Goods.
Varadkar’s comments, however, will help further heighten the mood music for the talks, which had already improved after Boris Johnson stepped down as British prime minister in September.
Asked about his negative perception within the Unionist movement, Varadkar told reporters in Dublin: One thing I’ve said in the past is that when we designed the protocol, when it was first negotiated, it was probably a little too strict.
“That’s why I think there is room for flexibility and change. We are open and positive about it. I’m here.”
Mr Varadkar said he hopes to visit Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
Downing Street said it “welcomed” the Irish Prime Minister’s comments, adding that “we have said before that it is possible to enact the Protocol in a flexible way”.
The Democratic Unionists have boycotted Stormont Congress in protest of the protocol’s operation, and Varadkar said he understood the anger.
“I understand how they feel about the protocol,” he added. “They feel their position within the Commonwealth has declined, creating barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland that did not exist before.
“And I understand and I understand that. But that also applies to Brexit. was imposed on.”
Varadkar, who entered his second term last month, said: In particular. So he understands that there are two sides to this story. ”
The US administration of Joe Biden has put pressure on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the EU to quickly resolve the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Biden is scheduled to visit Northern Ireland and Ireland in the spring, as well as a state visit to London.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverley is scheduled to meet with Maroš Shevchovic, the European Commission’s Vice-President for Brexit issues, in the coming days to review the prospects for a deal.
Detailed negotiations between the two countries, dubbed the “Tunnel”, have not yet begun.