Boris Johnson visits Northern Ireland to fix Brexit row

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is embroiled in a row when he travels to Northern Ireland to demand a power-sharing executive currently deadlocked by a row over the Brexit.

BELFAST – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is embroiled in an increasingly acrimonious row on Monday when he travels to Northern Ireland to demand the formation of a power-sharing executive currently deadlocked by a row over the Brexit.

In a historic development, the role of Prime Minister for Northern Ireland will be filled by the pro-Irish party Sinn Fein after they triumphed in the Stormont Assembly elections earlier this month.

But the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), angered by the ‘Northern Ireland protocol’ agreed under Britain’s Brexit deal with the European Union, has blocked the election of a president at Stormont.

Johnson is set to meet all parties involved and is expected to tell them that London ‘will do its part to ensure political stability’ but that politicians in Northern Ireland must ‘get back to work’ to deal with ‘bread questions’ and butter” to deal with, according to a statement from his office on Sunday.

The DUP refuses to help form an executive until the protocol is amended to abolish trade controls between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain, which it says threaten the province’s status within from the United Kingdom.

Johnson’s government also insists the protocol threatens the delicate balance of peace in Northern Ireland between the pro-Irish nationalist community and supporters of continued union with the UK.

He warned he would trigger Article 16 of the Brexit deal to suspend the deal or legislate to remove its requirements from UK law unless the EU agrees to change it.

Johnson wrote in the Belfast Telegraph on Monday that those who wanted to abandon the protocol were “focusing on the wrong thing”.

“I hope the EU position will change. If this is not the case, we must act,” Johnson wrote.

“We will present a more detailed assessment and next steps to Parliament in the coming days once I return from talks with local parties.”

But Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney warned London against unilateral action in an interview with Politico in Brussels.

“Acting unilaterally to break international law, without respecting democratic choices in Northern Ireland, would make the situation much worse, not better, in terms of resolving the Protocol’s issues,” Coveney said.

Sinn Fein’s Northern Irish leader Michelle O’Neill has accused the DUP of holding the British-ruled area for “ransom”.

“I intend to tell him (Johnson) directly that he has to stop giving in to the DUP,” she told reporters last week.

The British government is “playing a game of chicken with the (European) Commission and we are in the heart of the matter”, added the Prime Minister-elect.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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