With Liz Truss now confirmed as the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister, the time has come to refocus and prioritise the EU-UK relationship, according to the Fine Gael spokesperson on European Union Affairs, Neale Richmond TD.
Reacting to the results of the Conservative Party leadership contest, Deputy Neale Richmond said that Prime Minister in waiting Truss must now put talk of Article 16 in the past and focus on working with the EU in good faith.
Deputy Richmond said, “It is imperative that the new Prime Minister speaks with the Taoiseach within the first days of taking office to allow both parties to take the opportunity to re-start and re-focus the relationship with our closest neighbour.
“The Tory party leadership contest has led to some harsh rhetoric returning to British politics about triggering Article 16 over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“This is deeply unhelpful and with the international law-breaking Northern Ireland Protocol Bill having passed the House of Commons, relations between the UK and EU continue to worsen.
“What we need now is for Prime Minister Truss to put party politics aside and engage with the EU in good faith and work to address the problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol, something that has not been done by the British negotiating team since February 24th.
“Soon to be Prime Minister Truss will face some very difficult decisions in her first days in office, but the lingering issues of Brexit and the Protocol will not solve themselves and require real political will to move forward in a positive light.
“Ms Truss is an experienced politician who clearly holds a great deal of support from her party members. Her words carry weight and so if she took the decision to move forward and compromise with the EU, this would go a long way to improving relations” Deputy Richmond concluded.