- Johnson was furious when Macron indicated during his bilateral summit meeting that Northern Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
- – It is not only offensive, it also has real consequences for the people of Northern Ireland – it causes great anxiety and great horror – British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab commented
- France later tried to defuse the situation. – The president said that Toulouse and Paris are part of the same geographical area and that Northern Ireland is on an island, the Elysee Palace spokesperson explained.
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Johnson was said to have been furious when Macron indicated during his bilateral summit meeting that Northern Ireland was not part of the United Kingdom, the Sunday Telegraph reported. The newspaper revealed that Johnson, in an attempt to explain to Macron the British frustration with the protocol on Northern Ireland, asked him how he would feel if the Toulouse sausage could not be shipped to Paris. Macron responded that the comparison was not good because Toulouse and Paris were in the same country.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab found this comment offensive and added that such suggestions are often made by the European Union. No one should be surprised by these reports and they are not just one person. Raab told Sky News: “We’ve seen several times senior EU officials talk about Northern Ireland as if it were somehow separate from the UK.
It is not only an insult, but also has real consequences for the people of Northern Ireland – it causes great anxiety and horror. Can you imagine that we are talking about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the states in Germany, northern Italy, and Corsica in France as separate countries? He added that we need a little respect and, frankly, a little understanding of the situation of all communities in Northern Ireland.
Macron explains his words
France later tried to defuse the situation. – The president said that Toulouse and Paris are part of the same geographical area and Northern Ireland is on an island. A spokesman for the Elysee Palace explained that he wanted to stress that the situation was completely different and that making such comparisons was not appropriate.
Asked about the issue, Macron said: “France has never allowed itself to question British sovereignty, British territorial integrity and respect for sovereignty. It is also true that Brexit is a ‘child’ of British sovereignty and (creating) thousands of working hours for European leaders, so we We know a lot. Well, what is British sovereignty.”
When asked at the closing conference of the Group of Seven whether he was offended by the French president’s alleged statements, Johnson did not respond, saying only that “the task of the British government is to preserve the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.” When asked about the matter, he replied that he and the rest of the government “constantly insist” that Northern Ireland is part of the “great, undivided United Kingdom”.
Protocol on Northern Ireland
The protocol on Northern Ireland, which the UK and the EU dispute over implementation, is part of the Brexit deal. It was created to prevent the return of the difficult border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, the absence of which was considered a prerequisite for the peace process in the British province. For there to be no such border, controls must be applied to goods shipped to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, which means it has a different de facto situation than the rest of the country.
The latest issue in the dispute is refrigerated meat, including sausages and luncheon meat, which the European Union does not allow to import into its territory. At the end of June, a transition period will expire, after which it will not be allowed to ship from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) to Northern Ireland. The UK government suggests it is ready to unilaterally extend this transition period, as it already did in March for other products. However, according to the European Union, this violates the terms of the protocol.
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