Dublin, Paris debate N.Ireland post Brexit status

Photo: AP French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin

France and Ireland vowed to boost bilateral cooperation during a visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron in Dublin where he met his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin. Our relations have never been better, the two said at a joint press conference. Macron was in the capital to speak to political leaders about EU affairs, BBC elaborated.

He noted Ireland would always have the support of the EU when it comes to Brexit negotiations. The two leaders tackled the EU's response to the coronavirus pandemic and other world challenges. It is believed they discussed the Northern Ireland Protocol, an aspect of the Brexit deal that the UK government is seeking to have renegotiated. Macron has previously ruled that out and said the UK government must respect what it has already negotiated and that the European single market must be protected.

The Irish government believes that flexibilities can be found within the protocol to accommodate those who have expressed concerns about how it is working. The protocol is the part of the Brexit deal that puts a trade border in the Irish Sea. It keeps Northern Ireland aligned with the EU single market for goods and means EU customs rules are enforced at its ports but it is strongly opposed by unionists, who see it as separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

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