Micheál Martin discusses Northern Ireland Protocol
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The Taoiseach insisted he stuck up for Irish trawlermen who have seen their rights eroded in the post-Brexit climate. Ireland was the most heavily dependent EU nation on British waters for years but now has to watch its quota reduced gradually under the terms of the Brexit trade deal.
Speaking alongside the European Commission President at a joint press conference in Dublin, Mr Martin said he broached the subject of fishing during talks with his guest, saying the “difficult position” of fishermen was raised.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the Northern Ireland Protocol is the solution to issues caused by Brexit.
Mrs von der Leyen reiterated her stance on the Protocol, insisting the mechanism is the “only solution we have found with the UK after discussing that over the years”.
The EU boss said the Protocol, which aims to prevent a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland, plays an “important” part in maintaining peace in the region.
Now, Britons have lashed out at the Commission chief with some claiming it is only a matter of time before Ireland leaves the EU.
One Express.co.uk reader commented: “We all know Ireland is on its way out of the EU.
“It’s just a matter of time as they are never going to change their tax.”
Someone else said: “Stuff the integrity of the single market, protect the integrity of the United Kingdom and peace on the island of Ireland.”
A third said: “The Brussels machine wants to make ROI a net contributor by forcing it the comply with increased Corporate Taxation demands.
“It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.”
While some commented on the situation for Irish fishermen.
One said: “How difficult can the position of Irish fishermen be when they are merely going back to the same position they used to have?
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“Did they ever consider the plight of English fishermen? No! Of course not!
“Did they co-operate in the UK’s exit from the EU?
“No! So why exactly should we care about them now?”
Someone else commented: “He said he brought up the subject of the Irish fishermen.
“She basically told him to shut up and tow the EU doctrine.”
Another Express.co.uk reader said: “It seems Mr Martin doesn’t get that while the UK was in the EU you could fish in our waters, now we’re not so you can’t.
“Yes we should show some pragmatism, how about we drop 800 new rules on the EU fishing industry and any EU meat imports are grass-fed only that goes for dairy cattle as well.
“Most importantly Ms Von Der Leyn signed your cheque.”
Their meeting comes after Britain’s Brexit minister Lord Frost hit out at Brussels for levelling hundreds of new pieces of regulation upon Northern Ireland without notice.
He told peers the move showed the EU was failing to take “seriously” the fact that it was making laws “for another territory” after Brexit.
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