Taoiseach MicheÃ¡l Martin warned Boris Johnson against any unilateral move to offer amnesty to British soldiers for alleged crimes committed during the unrest.
Speaking after a meeting with the UK Prime Minister at Checkers, Mr Martin said they discussed the implementation of the 2014 Stormont House deal which deals with legacy issues.
“We continue to exchange views on this, but we stressed the need for no unilateral approach on this, there would be an inclusive process in terms of discussions on this and other related issues in terms new approach to the new decade, âhe said. RTÃ news.
The Taoiseach said he and Mr Johnson had had “considerable discussion and exploration” of the issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol.
âOf course, this is fundamentally an EU-UK discussion and negotiation. We are all aware of its impact on Northern Ireland, and the importance of dealing with the issue in a non-contentious manner, and of working to see if these issues can be resolved.
âWe believe that these problems can be resolved within the framework of the processes defined by the Withdrawal Agreement and within the framework of the Joint Committee. And we know that Maros Sefcovic on the EU side and David Frost get along well, have the ability to work well together and if there was a collective will on all sides that we can resolve some of these issues â, Mr. Martin said.
The two leaders’ lunch at the Prime Minister’s country residence came amid tension over Northern Ireland protocol and legacy issues and as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) chose Edwin Poots as new leader .
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that the discussion between Mr Johnson and Mr Martin was about the findings of the inquest into the deaths of those killed in the Ballymurphy massacre.
âLeaders have reflected on the coroner’s report on the Ballymurphy massacre released this week. They agreed that it was deeply sad that the families of the victims had to wait so long for the truth, âthe spokesperson said.
âThe Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK government’s commitment to find a way forward in Northern Ireland that serves victims, helps restore the truth and helps communities in the future. “
The Prime Minister and the Taoiseach discussed their shared ambitions for the future of UK-Ireland relations, including increased collaboration on science and technology, tackling climate change and cultural efforts .
âThey agreed on the importance of working together to uphold the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement and to maintain a smooth trade between Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The leaders decided to continue working together in our fight against the coronavirus and to share information closely to enable a better recovery. “
Britain is asking Ireland for help as it negotiates with the European Commission on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol which Mr Johnson agreed to last year.
Britain wants more flexible application of EU rules on goods transported from Britain to Northern Ireland based on data quantifying the risk of such goods crossing the border into the single market of the EU.
Mr Johnson this week withdrew from a proposal to block all prosecutions for alleged crimes committed by British soldiers during the unrest, except war crimes, genocide and torture.
The proposed amnesty, which would also apply to loyalist and Republican paramilitaries, was not mentioned as part of an inheritance bill in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday.
Mr Martin traveled to England earlier today to meet with Mr Johnson.
Officials in Dublin said the meeting was convened following talks between Mr Johnson and the Taoiseach in recent weeks and was not scheduled in the wake of Ballymurphy’s verdicts or controversial UK government proposals to ‘discontinue future prosecution of British soldiers for crimes committed during the trouble.
Sources said further talks between officials on the legacy issues could result from the meeting, although there are concerns in Dublin that the UK government has unilaterally set aside provisions of the deal. Stormont House without consulting either Dublin or the northern parts.
Officials said they hoped a face-to-face meeting could restore trust between the two governments after a period in which relations became strained.
But Mr Martin had to reject any attempt by Mr Johnson to have negotiations on the substance of the protocol, as this is an EU-UK issue, rather than bilateral between the two states.
As a sign that the British side wanted to have discussions on the protocol, Lord David Frost, the British minister responsible for relations with the EU, was expected to attend the meeting.
Tensions with unionism over the protocol were partly responsible for the DUP’s internal criticism of party leader and Stormont premier Arlene Foster. Mr Poots said he would not enforce the protocol, although it is still part of UK law.