Wednesday, February 21

Northern Ireland Prime Minister resigns over Brexit protocol

The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, the unionist Paul Givan, presented his resignation on Thursday at the head of the power-sharing government in protest against the Northern Ireland protocol between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

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The decision was made after meeting in Belfast with its formation, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), whose Minister for Agriculture, Edwin Poots, unilaterally ordered yesterday to suspend the customs controls provided for in the protocol on products arriving in Ireland. North from the island of Great Britain.

Givan’s resignation automatically causes the departure of the autonomous Executive of the main deputy minister, the leader of the nationalist Sinn Féin Michelle O’Neill, which plunges the province into a new institutional crisis, just three months before the regional elections .

In his statement to the media, Givan explained that Northern Ireland’s institutions are affected by the “delicate balance” involved in maintaining the mandate of the Good Friday peace agreement (1998) and the treaty sealed between the EU and the United Kingdom after Brexit, with the instrument of the protocol as the main problem.

This mechanism, which entered into force on January 1, 2021 together with the rest of the Brexit agreements, requires the review of goods arriving in Northern Ireland from the island of Great Britain to prevent the uncontrolled entry of products into the European community market. .

However, the new bureaucracy has caused a shortage of products and political tensions in the region, especially in the unionist-protestant community, which sees its position in the United Kingdom in danger, even more so when Brexit has promoted the historical objective of the nationalists to reunify the island of Ireland.

“The principle of consent is the cornerstone of the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement and it is my sincere hope that all sectors of the community will soon be able to give their consent for the restoration of a fully functioning Executive, through a resolution of the problems that unfortunately have brought us to this point,” said Givan.