DUBLIN (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin in England on Friday to discuss the situation in Northern Ireland and broader Brexit issues, the Irish government said.
European Union member Ireland played an important role in negotiating the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU and is involved in efforts to ease post-Brexit trade frictions between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Talks between London and Brussels on the issue are ongoing but the British government on Tuesday warned that the way the rules were operating might not be sustainable for long.
Britain’s Brexit deal effectively left Northern Ireland in the EU’s trading sphere, avoiding the need for customs checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland but creating new ones between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
These new checks have disrupted trade and angered pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland. The EU and Ireland say there is no need to change the deal but that they are willing to consider improvements in its implementation.
“The lunchtime meeting, which was scheduled some time ago, is expected to cover the response to COVID-19, a range of issues relevant to peace and stability in Northern Ireland, and the broader British-Irish relationship,” the Irish government statement said.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by David Milliken)