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It is “common ground” that Good Friday agreement should be protected: British Prime Minister

DUBLIN: The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said that protecting the Good Friday Agreement was “absolutely common ground” between Britain, the United States, and the European Union. Boris Johnson clarified the stance following a discussion with US President Joe Biden yesterday. The discussion, which lasted about an hour and a half, covered almost every topic, Mr. Johnson said.

The British PM welcomed the US President to the G7 leaders’ summit, which begins today at Corbis Bay, Cornwall. He also voiced differences with Biden about the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland peace.

He said that the US, the UK and the EU had agreed on finding solutions to uphold the 1998 peace agreement. “There’s complete harmony on the need to keep going, find solutions, and make sure we uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement,” he said.

A Downing Street spokesman confirmed that the EU and the UK have agreed to work together and find practical solutions to trade between Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

“The Prime Minister outlined his ambitions to further expand opportunities for all the people in Northern Ireland and hoped that the US would continue to work with the UK to boost prosperity there,” the spokesman said.

Ireland says talks between UK and US leaders are promising

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney expressed optimism about the meeting between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Johnson. “We do know the White House is very serious about its intent to protect the peace process. We can be confident that President Biden will have been quite firm in his views with the Prime Minister today,” he said.

Mr. Coveney expressed hope that the talks would result in progress on issues that needed to be resolved. He also said that the unionists are frustrated by the uncertainty in the protocol and the inability of businesses to plan other projects.

Meanwhile, Irish government sources said that the signing of a temporary veterinary agreement with the EU to reduce customs inspections would not affect the prospects of UK-US trade deal.

Following a meeting with DUP leader Edwin Poots last week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that such a deal could reduce friction and remove up to 80% of checks on products entering Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, the White House has denied reports that President Biden has directed US diplomats to criticize British Prime Minister Johnson’s handling of Brexit and its impact on the Northern Ireland peace process.

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