London’s plan to scrap the post-Brexit trade deal would severely damage Northern Ireland’s economy, Micheal Martin said.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin accused the UK of “economic vandalism” in a BBC interview on Sunday. Martin was responding to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to review the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol, calling it the worst kind of unilateralism.

A bill introduced in the House of Commons last week would dramatically overhaul the protocol, which currently requires customs checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain. If the new bill is passed, goods destined for Northern Ireland would not be subject to such controls, while goods destined for the Republic of Ireland via Northern Ireland would be controlled and taxed at ports in the enclave. British before heading south.

“The legislation would indeed severely damage Northern Ireland’s economy, particularly in the context of the dual regulatory standards approach,” Martin told the BBC, referring to the choice Northern Ireland companies would have to make between complying with EU or UK standards.

“In effect, it represents a form of economic vandalism in Northern Ireland because if you look, any hard data now shows that the Northern Ireland economy is doing very well.” he continued. The Irish government, he said, believes the new legislation “It’s very, very worrying in terms of the real damage it could do to key sectors of the Northern Ireland economy.”

The British government argues that a dual regulatory approach would free trade between the UK and Northern Ireland from onerous EU regulations, while preventing the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, something that it would be an unpleasant reminder of the troubled political history of the North. .

“There are certain areas where we can improve the protocol and we must continue to do so,” Martin said, calling “Substantive negotiations between the British government and the European Union”.

Unionists in Northern Ireland, those who support remaining part of the UK and see the protocol as marginalizing them, have threatened not to share power with the nationalist Sinn Fein party if the protocol remains in force and have criticized Martin for dismissing your concerns.

“From day one, Dublin has done its own thing and has never prioritized consensus in Northern Ireland.” Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson told the BBC. “No unionist MPs or MLAs support the protocol, but instead of Dublin trying to understand or acknowledge our objections, they repeatedly lecture us, bad mouth us and demand that we change our minds.”

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, whose party represents Irish nationalist interests, has said Britain’s proposal constitutes “a violation of international law” and it would undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.

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