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Speaking at a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Association, Taoiseach Micheál Martin of Ireland spoke about the relationship between the UK and Ireland after Brexit.
He said: “Brexit has marked a fundamental change in EU-UK relations, and the type of Brexit chosen by the UK government has meant that trading relations on these islands have been fundamentally changed.
“It made the search for a new set of arrangements – one that would not, and could not be, a return to the trade deals that worked before Brexit – absolutely imperative.”
The Irish leader also criticized the government’s plans to change parts of the Northern Ireland protocol, but noted that the UK and Ireland had a “long-term relationship” that they “want and don’t have”. they need” to operate.
He added: “The protocol is the hard-won compromise between the UK and the EU designed to deal with the consequences of the UK leaving the EU, while avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and protecting the integrity of the single market.
“It has been accepted by the UK government, ratified by Westminster and enacted into UK law.
“I am deeply concerned about UK government legislation that would unilaterally overrule key elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”