The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has declared his government’s determination to secure a post-Brexit trade deal regarding Northern Ireland. Sunak stated that reaching an agreement is crucial to ensure the return of power-sharing in the region. In an interview with The Sunday Times, he added that the government was “giving it everything” to achieve the deal, emphasizing his eagerness to “get the job done.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol was established to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and protect the Good Friday Agreement. It keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods, meaning customs checks are required on some goods coming from Great Britain.
This arrangement has provoked controversy and opposition from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which believes that the European Union’s influence over Northern Ireland undermines the province’s constitutional status.
Sunak promised to address the concerns of the DUP, which has been a key supporter of the ruling Conservative Party in recent years.
The Prime minister’s comments come ahead of the UK’s decision to unilaterally extend the grace period for some checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The EU has responded by threatening legal action and imposing trade sanctions, heightening tensions in the region.
The Northern Ireland Protocol has been a contentious issue since it was first proposed, with critics arguing that it threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom. The UK and EU have struggled to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, and tensions remain high.
As the deadline for a decision approaches, Sunak’s comments demonstrate the UK government’s commitment to finding a resolution and ensuring the continued peace and stability of Northern Ireland.