A Vow to EU: Sunak to ‘work together’ with European Union to End Northern Ireland Protocol Issues

When Rishi Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen met for the first time at Cop27 in Egypt, they agreed to “work together” to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol dispute.

The Northern Ireland Protocol was also on the agenda in Westminster, with Brexit negotiator Maros Sefcovic telling British and European parliamentarians that he did not believe the EU and the UK were “worlds apart” on the protocol, warning that unilateral action by the Government would have “serious” consequences.

On Monday, the new UK prime minister met with the European Commission President at the Cop27 climate conference, with Mr Sunak emphasising the need to “find solutions” to the “very real problems” caused by the region’s post-Brexit arrangements.

Mr Sunak inherits the Northern Ireland Protocol problem from his predecessors Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, which is strongly opposed by unionists who claim it isolates the region from the rest of the UK.

The Democratic Unionist Party’s main reason for refusing to return to powersharing is the post-Brexit solution, which is designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The unrest in Northern Ireland has alarmed Dublin, Brussels, and Washington, and the row between the UK and the EU shows no signs of ending soon, despite recent signs of a more positive tone from the British side.

Ms von der Leyen described the meeting as a “good first meeting.”

“From addressing climate change and the energy transition to Russia’s war against Ukraine,” she tweeted.

She expressed hope for “constructive cooperation” between the two countries.

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