There are political opportunities that Emmanuel Macron does not let slip. That of defending Europe and its values is one of them. Since Dublin, Thursday August 26, facing an Irish Prime Minister, Michael Martin, worried by the attitude of the United Kingdom ready to question the Northern Irish protocol, the Head of State has not given way to ambiguity. “Europe since the start of this British referendum [sur le Brexit] has been united and united, and it will remain so until the end, have no doubt. There is no minor matter in this matter. It is an existential question for the solidarity and unity of the European Union [UE]. (…) We will ensure that the agreements that have been signed are duly respected ”, assured the president. Before adding, seemingly speaking to the whole country: “We will never let you go. “
For several weeks, Ireland has been panicking. London, beyond increasing the grace periods to delay the application of the protocol for Northern Ireland, threatens to no longer respect it. Entering into force in early 2021, this crucial part of the Brexit deal orchestrating the UK’s exit from the EU governs the dual status of Northern Ireland, a province that is still part of the UK while remaining in the EU internal market for goods.
In order not to reestablish a land border between the two Ireland, which would call into question the precious Good Friday agreements, a border was imagined in the sea, forcing the United Kingdom to carry out customs checks for goods passing through Great- Brittany to Northern Ireland. But on July 21, after new tensions in Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his wish to renegotiate the protocol, which he had nevertheless dubbed at the end of 2019.
“A matter of a few months”
The Irish executive now fears that the European forces, tired of this complicated subject, will end up giving in to London. Even if it means compromising the peace on the island. “Europe is a political body. We cannot play with peace and stability ”, Emmanuel Macron replied during a meeting with students from Trinity College, assuring that the Good Friday agreements would be preserved. There is none “ discussion ” on this point, he insisted, saying he is aligned with all the member countries against what looks from the United Kingdom to “ Provocation “.
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