Ireland cannot be bullied by the Conservative Party and its political allies

14 June 2022

As the reckless and bullish behaviour of the British government continues, Labour leader Ivana Bacik said everything must be done to ensure no hard border on the island of Ireland. Bacik said the attempt to override the Northern Ireland protocol amounts to a breach of international law and will undermine the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland.

Deputy Bacik said:

“The reckless and dangerous approach of the British government to the sensitive issue of the Northern Ireland protocol must be condemned and challenged. Ireland cannot stand by and be bullied by a reckless British government and a Prime Minister who is acting as unpredictably as Donald Trump.   

“At a time when compromise and trust are needed, the Tories have instead opted to ratchet up tensions by pursuing unilateral and unlawful actions, intending to ignore international obligations, choosing to risk the hard won peace on our island. We cannot stand by while it acts like a rogue state.

“The current path pursued by the British government will cause economic uncertainty; it will hinder the potential for growth in Northern Ireland; and it risks setting the peace-process back by years.

“As Tony Connelly of RTÉ put it, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has courted the hard-line European Research Group (ERG) to try to cling to his position following a worse-than-expected confidence motion result last week, while one of his key challengers, the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, is doing precisely the same thing to take Johnson’s place should he be ousted during the summer. This is no way to do business.

“Despite this damaging and dangerous approach, it is not too late to find a political solution that protects peace on our island. It is not too late for a return to constructive talks with the EU. It can be successful, if solutions are sought on the basis of trust and honesty, as they should be.

“I am urging the government to remind Prime Minister Johnson and his colleagues of the importance to find solutions to the situation we now find ourselves in. We cannot stand idly by. The approach of the British government needs to be treated as the political dynamite that such an approach has the potential to be. To proceed with this reckless and dangerous legislation is unconscionable.

“The British government cannot seek a la carte legal advice as to the consequences of this unilateral move. We must not be bullied by the Conservative Party and its political allies. Our Government cannot allow any risk of a hard border on the island of Ireland.”

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