(Bloomberg) -- Ireland’s leader Micheal Martin said he sees renewed sense of determination to resolve issues surrounding Northern Ireland’s status in the wake of Brexit as the UK’s Liz Truss begins work as Prime Minister.
Martin’s meeting in London at the weekend with Truss was “constructive” and “there is shared determination to get the issue resolved,” he said in an interview on Thursday with Bloomberg Television’s Alix Steel and Guy Johnson. He was referring to the Northern Irish Protocol, the part of the Brexit divorce treaty that keeps the region in the European customs union and prescribes checks on goods coming in from the rest of the UK.
Truss and US President Joe Biden pledged their commitment to protect the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which largely ended decades of sectarian violence in the region, at a meeting on Wednesday in New York. The UK government has set itself a deadline for resolving the impasse with the European Union by April next year, according to people familiar with the administration’s thinking.
Biden, Truss Pledge Unity on Ukraine, Ireland in Meeting (1)
The Democratic Unionist Party is currently blocking the functioning of power-sharing institutions in Belfast which were established by the Good Friday Agreement in protest of trading arrangements for the region. Martin noted the more immediate deadline in October, when if the institutions haven’t been restored another election could need to be called.
While he stressed the difficulties in getting a resolution on the protocol, Martin said he was “clear now that there is a will to get it resolved on all sides and where there is a will there’s always a means to doing that.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.