Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has referred to as for “a bit of respect” from EU leaders as he claimed the bloc’s senior figures “serially” discuss Northern Ireland “as if it were somehow a different country from the UK”.
The UK and EU are at the moment at loggerheads over the implementation of post-Brexit preparations for Northern Ireland – referred to as the Northern Ireland Protocol – forward of the top of a “grace period” for some border checks on the finish of this month.
The row has threatened to overshadow the UK’s internet hosting of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, this weekend – throughout which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed some within the EU wanted to “get into their heads” that the UK is a single nation.
The prime minister’s ire is reported to have been raised throughout his bilateral talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday morning.
Mr Johnson is alleged to have tried to clarify his frustration with the protocol by asking what Mr Macron would do if sausages from Toulouse couldn’t be moved to Paris.
The French president was claimed to have responded by arguing the comparability didn’t work as a result of Paris and Toulouse have been each a part of the identical nation, thereby suggesting Northern Ireland just isn’t throughout the UK.
Asked by Sky News on the G7 summit if these experiences have been true, Mr Raab mentioned “as a matter of diplomatic professionalism” he wouldn’t “spill the beans”.
But he added: “No one should be surprised by these reports and it’s not just one figure.
“We have serially seen senior EU figures discuss Northern Ireland as if it have been by some means a distinct nation from the UK.
“That is not only offensive, it has real world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland – it creates great concern, great consternation.
“Could you think about if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish a part of Belgium, one of many Lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as completely different international locations?
“We need a bit of respect here and also, frankly, a bit of appreciation of the situation for all communities in Northern Ireland.”
Mr Raab claimed the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol had been “very lopsided” and had had “real life effects” on folks in Northern Ireland.
“What we cannot have is the continuing disruption of trade and effectively try to change the status of Northern Ireland, contrary to the consent and wishes of the people, which is not just contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol but also to the Belfast Agreement,” the overseas secretary added.
Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin has instructed Sky News there may be “a route” to resolving tensions over the protocol.
He urged Mr Johnson to “very seriously consider” a veterinary-type settlement with the EU to remove “up to 80% of checks” on items crossing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.