Irish PM warns of ‘very serious harm’ if Brexit used as excuse for disputes

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin has warned against presenting every Brexit issue “as a zero-sum, win-lose fight”. [EPA-EFE/JOHN THYS]

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin has warned against presenting every Brexit issue “as a zero-sum, win-lose fight”.

Speaking at the annual Fianna Fáil 1916 Rising commemoration at Arbour Hill in Dublin, Martin also described the Northern Ireland Protocol as “a fair conclusion to attempts to limit the potential destructiveness of Brexit on this island,” despite Unionist tensions in Northern Ireland over the last few weeks.

The protocol is “complex, but it is nowhere near as complex as it is presented, said the prime minister, adding that “it is not as complex as the thousands of Brexit issues remaining in relation to trade and other contacts between Great Britain and the European Union”.

“Rules and connections developed over half a century don’t come apart easily,” he added.

“With good faith and cooperation, disruption can be limited and we can resolve outstanding issues,” said Martin, adding that “we’ve seen important progress in recent days.”

“It is important to say that very serious harm can come if we keep seeing people trying to use Brexit as an issue to create points of dispute. Or by presenting every single issue as a zero-sum, win-lose fight,” he said.

“When this approach is followed in relation to UK-EU relations the damage it causes is primarily economic. When it involves misrepresenting the arrangements for Northern Ireland the damage can go much further,” Martin added. (Paula Kenny | EURACTIV.com)

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