British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a legislative process to overturn the agreements with the EU on Northern Ireland’s Brexit status if necessary. The Tory politician traveled to the UK province on Monday for talks with representatives of Northern Ireland’s largest parties.
All are of the opinion that the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol must be “reformed and improved”, Johnson said after the talks.
“We would love to do this in a consensual manner with our friends and partners,” Johnson continued. But as an insurance company, his government must also legislate at the same time. According to dpa information, Foreign Minister Liz Truss wanted to explain what that should look like on Tuesday in Parliament in London.
The EU had warned against unilateral action by London. Otherwise the entire trade agreement would be at stake, said Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney on Monday in Brussels.
During his visit to Northern Ireland, Johnson called for the formation of a unity government. The Protestant DUP has so far refused to elect a Speaker of Parliament in protest at the Northern Ireland Protocol. The unionist party also does not want to join a unity government with the Catholic-Republican Sinn Fein.
At Sinn Fein, skepticism clearly prevailed after the meetings with Johnson. Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald accused Johnson of colluding with the DUP. Should London actually try to undermine the agreements from the Brexit Treaty through national legislation, it would be “absolutely outrageous”, according to McDonald.