President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to respect "the word given to Europeans" in the context of Brexit, amid tensions in Northern Ireland, the French presidency said.
The French head of state said he was "ready" for a relaunch of Franco-British relations but "stressed that this re-engagement required the British to respect the word given to Europeans and the framework defined by the Brexit agreements", indicated the Elysee after a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
The Northern Ireland case and the special trade arrangements planned for the British province after Brexit are poisoning relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
It overshadows the G7 summit scheduled until Sunday in southwest England, where the leaders of the great powers and the EU intend to offer the image of a united front eager to revitalize the multilateralism to promote post-pandemic recovery and fight against global warming.
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London accuses Brussels of adopting a “too purist approach” as regards the application of new specific customs provisions in Northern Ireland, contained in the “Northern Irish protocol” bitterly negotiated within the framework of the Brexit.
By keeping Northern Ireland in the European customs union and single market, these measures are a source of tension in the British province, even causing violent clashes in early April.
"All options are on the table"
Discussions were held in London on Wednesday, without allowing progress, the EU indicating that it would not hesitate to take retaliatory measures if London refused to implement the provisions of the protocol. After the tête-à-tête with Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson was also to meet with the leaders of the European bloc and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Stressing that the G7 was not necessarily the place to reach an "immediate solution", the spokesperson for the Conservative leader said on Friday that "all options are on the table" to preserve the integrity of the United Kingdom , undermined according to him by the protocol. US President Joe Biden, proud of his Irish roots, also reaffirmed his commitment to the protocol which, by avoiding the return of a hard border to the island, guarantees peace in the British province he said concluded in 1998 after three decades. bloody violence between supporters (unionists) or opponents (republicans) to the maintenance in the British crown.