Mr Coveney said the UK’s latest threats to withdraw the protocol from Northern Ireland caused consternation in Brussels, as he met leaders of the British province.

Mr Coveney said the UK’s latest threats to withdraw the protocol from Northern Ireland caused consternation in Brussels, as he met leaders of the British province.

On May 11, Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said the UK risked breaching international law if it scrapped trade rules it had signed with the European Union for Northern Ireland. .

Mr Coveney said the UK’s latest threats to withdraw the protocol from Northern Ireland caused consternation in Brussels, as he met leaders of the British province.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the government “will not hesitate to take action to stabilize the situation in Northern Ireland if solutions cannot be found” to key sticking points.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also said his government must protect the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended three decades of sectarian violence against British rule in Northern Ireland.

“This is crucial for the stability of our country of the UK, Northern Ireland,” he said, adding that new arrangements were needed to “command community support”.

“Obviously the Northern Ireland protocol fails to do that and we have to fix it.”

Mr Coveney said the UK Foreign Secretary’s comments had “escaped very badly across the European Union” and dismissed London’s claims that Brussels was adamant about its implementation.

“The (European) Commission has shown a willingness to compromise,” he told the reporter, adding: “What they are hearing and seeing from London is a rejection of this approach, towards a violation of international law.”

The protocol was signed separately from the Brexit trade deal between London and Brussels, as Northern Ireland has the country’s only land border with the EU.

It keeps the province largely in the European single market and customs union, but imposes controls on goods entering the province from Britain – England, Scotland and Wales.

The checks are designed to prevent a return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, which has been a flashpoint during the years of violence.

But the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party says that by creating a de facto border in the Irish Sea, Northern Ireland risks being cut off from the rest of the UK.

He refuses to join a new power-sharing government in Belfast until the protocol is removed or revised.

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill, who is set to be Northern Ireland’s first nationalist first minister after last week’s election, said after meeting Coveney: “Protocol is here to stay.

“There are ways to make it easier to implement, and we are certainly ready to do that, but the rhetoric of the UK government in recent days only serves to flatter the DUP,” she said.

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