Ireland says EU ready to work with Britain but protocol must be respected

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, speaks to the media, in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that the European Union is ready to talk with Britain to resolve the issues in their Northern Irish trade dispute, but the current treaty of the Northern Ireland Protocol must remain.

"This is about responding to the demands of Northern Ireland as a whole. Let's not forget, Northern Ireland voted against Brexit," he said in Brussels at an EU foreign ministers meeting in which he said counterparts asked him for an update on the situation with London.

"But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying accomodate other positions. That's the approach we need to take, not threats of unilateral action, which are deeply unhelpful," he said of British calls to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Marine Strauss, writing Sabine Siebold)

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