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Macron to Johnson: Not serious to want to review Brexit’s NI protocol

Published: in European News by .

French president warns UK ‘nothing is renegotiable, everything is applicable’ amid Northern Ireland row.

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron rebuked what he said were attempts by the U.K. to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol, a key part of the Brexit deal that established a trade border between Northern Ireland and Britain to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“I think it’s not serious to want to review in July what we finalized in December after years of work. It’s not serious between us and it’s not serious toward our people,” Macron said at a wide-ranging press conference in Paris Thursday evening.

The Northern Ireland protocol has become a major point of contention between the U.K. and the EU. Both parties disagree on the execution of sanitary checks for goods coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, with the U.K. unilaterally extending grace periods for checks on certain products for six months.

Macron heads to the U.K. on Friday to participate in the G7 summit hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall. The two men will have a bilateral meeting at a time when relations between the U.K. and the EU, as well as between the U.K. and some member countries, have been fraught and even nasty.

“I believe in the strength of treaties, I believe in serious work, nothing is renegotiable, everything is applicable,” Macron added, drawing a hard line for Johnson.


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