Implement the Brexit deal, EU tells UK PM Boris Johnson
After the United Kingdom exited the bloc's orbit on Jan. 1, Johnson has unilaterally delayed the implementation of some provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol of the deal and his top negotiator has said the protocol is unsustainable
UK PM Boris Johnson was told by the European Union to implement the Brexit deal he signed to ensure the delicate peace in Northern Ireland. The bloc told the UK that all 27 EU member countries were unified in that position.
The US has expressed concern that dispute between the UK and the EU over implementation of 2020 Brexit deal could undermine 1998 Good Friday peace deal that ended three decades of violence.
After the United Kingdom exited the bloc's orbit on Jan. 1, Johnson has unilaterally delayed the implementation of some provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol of the deal and his top negotiator has said the protocol is unsustainable.
"The Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland are paramount," Ursula von der Leyen said after a meeting with Johnson and European Council President Charles Michel. "Both sides must implement what we agreed on."
"There is complete EU unity on this," she said, adding that the deal had been agreed, signed and ratified by both Johnson's government and the EU.
The 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to the "Troubles" - three decades of conflict between Irish Catholic nationalist militants and pro-British Protestant "loyalist" paramilitaries in which 3,600 people were killed.
Though Brexit was not part of the formal agenda for the Group of Seven summit in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay, it was raised in meetings between Johnson and EU leaders.
French President Emmanuel Macron offered to reset relations with Britain as long as Johnson stands by the Brexit deal.. Johnson also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Brexit has strained the situation in Northern Ireland: The EU wants to protect its markets but an effective border in the Irish Sea created by the Northern Ireland Protocol cuts off the British province from the rest of the United Kingdom.
(With inputs from agencies)