British government has not ‘engaged’ in talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol since February, says Simon Coveney

The British government has not held serious talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol since mid-February, yet claims all efforts to reach a solution have been exhausted, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said today.

The British government now says that we have finished negotiations, we are getting nowhere and so we have to act unilaterally with our own legislation,” Mr Coveney said.

“There’s no water in that argument when you haven’t actually made an effort to negotiate.”

The minister said Britain’s current actions were sending “terrible signals” around the world.

“The way forward is based on negotiations. The European Union has shown willingness to compromise. We certainly believe there are problems with the protocol. The federalist community in Northern Ireland has legitimate grievances.

“This can be answered through flexibility and practicality in how the protocol is implemented.

“But the only way it will work is if the British government comes back and starts talking to the EU in a way that is honest and realistic – as opposed to effectively saying: ‘You give us that. Whatever we want, or we’re going to legislate to take it anyway,’ and break international law to do so.”
He was commenting on RT radio after writing a joint op-ed for the Observer with the new German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock, warning that “there is no legal or political justification” for the plan to override the protocol.

Both ministers said Boris Johnson’s new law undermines the “rules-based international order” rather than allegedly protecting the ‘UK Single Market’ – as the continent is trying to counter Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Is.

He said the EU has been and will be “flexible and constructive” in dealing with legitimate concerns.

“Unfortunately, the British decided not to engage in good faith with these proposals,” he wrote.

“Instead of partnership and dialogue, the British government has chosen unilateralism.

“This month’s table of legislation will not fix the challenges surrounding the protocol. Instead, it will create a new set of uncertainties and make it more challenging to find sustainable solutions.
Today Mr Coveney said the joint article shows support for Ireland’s position across Europe.

“What today’s article in the British media is about is saying not only Ireland, but Germany too. And if you listen to any European capital, whether it’s Paris, Prague, Warsaw or Madrid, they’re all UK Saying the same thing: ‘Don’t break international law, certainly not at this time when we’re trying to hold Russia accountable under international law.'”
In the article, Ms Beerbock and Mr Coveney pointed out that Russia is “leading a brutal war in Ukraine, breaking our European peace order,” and as a result the EU and the UK are “seeking to unite as partners with shared values”. Must stand together.”

This requires a commitment to maintain and strengthen the rules-based international order.

“We urge the British Government to step back from its unilateral approach and show the same pragmatism and readiness to compromise that the European Union has shown.”

“Working together – in partnership and with mutual respect – can find common ground and overcome challenges, no matter how difficult.”

The Observer said the intervention reflected a coordinated effort within the European Union to support Ireland in the dispute, as well as harden Germany’s position.

Meanwhile, German ambassador to Britain, Miguel Berger, told Sky News today that the British unilateral move “will be clearly seen as a challenge to international law and the rule of law in general”.

“The best that can be done is to go back into legality – and that means negotiate to find technical and practical solutions.”

He added: “The EU is prepared to do so. But what we cannot accept is a challenge and a risk to our internal market.”