The French Foreign Ministry expressed concern about London’s intention to unilaterally amend certain points of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
A spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry said during an electronic press conference that Minister Catherine Colonna expressed to her British counterpart Lise Treis during a meeting between them her “desire for a lasting solution in accordance with the agreement signed between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol, which was agreed between London and Brussels in the context of the UK’s exit from the European Union, was created to try to resolve the difficult border issue between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the European Union.
The agreement was signed to protect the post-Brexit European single market without causing a return to hard borders, thus preserving the peace made in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement after three decades of bloody riots between unions and Republicans.
To this end, the Protocol established a customs boundary in the Irish Sea. But this situation disrupted supplies and sparked anger in the trade union community over their remaining in the UK.
The government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to pass a law to change this agreement unilaterally. The Johnson government threatened to annul this international treaty that it negotiated and signed.
On Monday, British lawmakers passed on first reading a unilateral revision of Northern Ireland’s customs regulations, despite warnings from Brussels that such a measure would justify trade retaliation.