French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin believe there is “a crucial window of opportunity to resolve post-Brexit trade disputes with London over Northern Ireland,” reads a statement. Explanationwhich was released after a meeting in Paris.
The British region of Northern Ireland is in a political deadlock following disagreements over the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiated when the UK left the European Union.
The protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the European single market but creates a de facto customs border with the island of Great Britain, which is unacceptable to Northern Ireland unionists who want to keep the province in the UK.
Northern Ireland has the UK’s only land border with the EU, but must remain open under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended three violent decades.
Martin “thanked the president for France’s unwavering solidarity with Ireland during Brexit,” reads the statement, released after lunch at the Elysée.
“Both heads of state agreed on the importance of a vibrant new partnership with the UK and believe there is now a crucial opportunity to resolve protocol issues,” he said.
On November 10, Martin met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who agreed to end the dispute.