Micheál Martin says extension of Northern Ireland protocol would be "problematic" 1 month ago

Micheál Martin says extension of Northern Ireland protocol would be "problematic"

He also said that the comments made by US President Joe Biden on the situation were "interesting".

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that it would be "very problematic" if the UK decides to extend the grace period for Northern Ireland Protocol checks.

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Boris Johnson recently said that he will do whatever it takes to keep goods moving between Britain and Northern Ireland in a move that means chilled meats will not be shipped across the Irish Sea due to EU rules at the end of the month.

The UK is now looking to extend the grace period for the protocol without approval from Brussels.

This move would be to ensure that sausage and meat products reach Northern Irish soil.

Speaking with Trevor Phillips on Sky News on Sunday, Martin said that "channels do exist to get this resolved".

"I think the prospects, in my view, if there’s a will there on both sides, and there is a will there from the European Union side I know that," Martin said.

"I detect from the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the British Government is anxious to get a resolution of this, so I think we should work at it."

He continued: "I know the European Union are anxious to resolve this and want to resolve it but they need to see a similar reciprocity from the UK side."

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The Taoiseach also commented on comments made by US President Joe Biden in regards to the situation earlier in the week.

Martin said: "I believe the US administration's comments are interesting as well in so far as they deal with a significant issue that would concern the British government, i.e. the capacity to do a trade deal with the United States whilst also having an SPS arrangement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

"In my view, there's a legitimate issue there for the United Kingdom government, but in our view, an SPS agreement would deal with up to 80% of all of these issues and I think it's a prize worth certainly exploring in the fullest manner possible."