Dutch PM attempts to smooth Northern Ireland row on visit to London

politico

09-17-2021

LONDON — Boris Johnson has shown “willingness” to find a solution to the U.K.-EU row over trade arrangements in Northern Ireland, the Dutch prime minister said after a meeting in Downing Street. 10 Friday, Mark Rutte said if both sides can focus on “practical questions” and avoid “heavy language” it is possible to reach solutions to the problems related to the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol, which London says causes disruption to trade from Great Britain. “And I notice tonight this willingness.”The two leaders “discussed extensively” differences on the protocol over dinner, Rutte said. A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson “outlined the U.K.’s concerns with the current implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the strain it was placing on the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. Johnson outlined details of the new AUKUS defense alliance between Britain, Australia and the U.S., and “stressed that the alliance will be an important force for stability in the Indo-Pacific,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.

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