Boris Johnson has told Irish Prime Minister Sky News that “confidence has been eroded” and “tensions have been created” as a result of the move to violate parts of his Brexit agreement with the European Union.
Michael Martin told Irish correspondent Stephen Murphy in a phone call that he had recorded Dublin’s “deep disappointment” at the UK Prime Minister’s approach and its “open opposition”.
“It was unilateral, it was not the way to approach these kinds of difficult and complicated negotiations,” he said.
Mr Martin added: “There is a lot of anger in Europe about this and the way it has happened.
“It’s clear in Ireland, I revealed it.”
Controversial Internal Market Bill Published Once the government agrees, it wants to “violate international law”.
It aims to redistribute the powers granted from Brussels to Westminster and back to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told the Commons earlier this week that the proposed Brexit law “violates international law in a very specific and defined way”.
But key elements to the withdrawal agreement passed by parliament last year could be at odds with giving ministers the power to set the rules for government aid and goods traveling between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Mr Martin said Mr Lewis’ comments had “stunned” politicians in Dublin.
“I have never seen this before in a parliament. A member of government has openly stated that this is a violation of international law,” he said.
Considering the bigger picture, Mr Martin said there was a “narrow window” to fulfilling a deal when UK and EU negotiators tried to reach a free trade agreement before the end of the transition period in December.
EU leaders, including EU Council President Charles Michel, are angry that Mr Johnson’s new bill “does not create the confidence needed to nurture our future relationship.”
Mr Martin’s remarks came on the same day as former Conservative Prime Minister John Major’s criticism of Boris Johnson’s new Brexit plans.
“Our signature on any contract or agreement is sacred,” he said.
“If we had lost our reputation for honoring the promises we made, we would have lost something beyond the price that can never be recovered.”
The line-up reached the United States, where House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said violating the Good Friday agreement could kill any chance of a US-UK trade deal.
“If the international agreement and the Brexit Good Friday agreement are undermined, the US-UK trade agreement will have no chance of being passed by Congress,” he said in a statement.
“The Good Friday Treaty is considered a treasure by the American people and will be proudly defended in the U.S. Congress.”
Analysis: Irish PM attacks pessimistic note amid diplomatic stalemate over plans to breach Brexit agreement
Written by Stephen Murphy, Irish Reporter
Davos ‘comments to Sky News this evening highlight the diplomatic fallout from Brandon Lewis’ comments in the House of Commons yesterday and the release of the new bill today.
Davochech spoke to Sky News minutes after he got off the phone with his British opponent. Clearly, this is a tough and tough phone call. It has been described by Davos as honest, a well-known diplomatic symbol for difficult conversations.
He said the Brandon Lewis report “stunned” the people in the Irish Parliament in Dublin, which was done unilaterally without consultation. This eroded confidence and created tensions around the negotiations. He also spoke of “a lot of anger” in Europe over this.
On the topic of future negotiations to find a trade deal next month or so, Davochech said he was not confident a deal would be made.
Although he did not rule out issues to be resolved in the form of an emergency joint committee meeting, he made a pessimistic note. But he spoke tonight of deep disappointment in British action, and said he could not understand its rationale.