Political debate in Northern Ireland is getting ‘pretty aggressive’ – Coveney


The political debate in Northern Ireland has become “quite aggressive” in recent weeks, Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said.

“The idea that some members of the loyalist community would blame the Dublin government, as they call it, for all Brexit and Protocol woes is just not accurate,” he said.

“It is we who are now looking for compromise and pragmatism to help ensure that the protocol can actually be implemented, in a more acceptable way.” he said.

“The idea that we are indeed demonized by leaders within loyalty is really useless,” he told RTÉ radio on Saturday with the Justin McCarthy show.

“It would be helpful if the political leaders of Northern Ireland who represent trade unionists and loyalist communities could clarify that there is no threat to Irish government officials or politicians,” he said.

“The idea that there would be a signal that an Irish government presence is no longer welcome in Northern Ireland, I think is a huge step backwards,” Mr Coveney said.

“The challenges don’t go away because the blame game becomes more aggressive, if not worse. ” he said.

DUP party leaders are expected to meet on Saturday to agree on a timetable for choosing a new party leader, after several weeks of major internal unrest within the party.

Jeffrey Donaldson is widely seen as the most likely to succeed Edwin Poots, who announced Thursday evening that he would step down less than five weeks after his election, in response to backlash within his party.

The media questioned Paul Givan’s position as prime minister on Saturday following Mr Poots’ resignation.

Mr Coveney said the appointment of a new prime minister by the DUP could not hinge on demands from trade unionists for any changes to the MoU, the deal that governs Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit status .

“Now there’s going to be a change of leadership within DUP, and it’s really up to this new boss, when he’s appointed, to make sure he has the team he wants at Stormont. ” he said.

“You cannot negotiate around the protocol for a prime minister to be installed in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“The EU is not going to be locked into a situation where it has to make concessions, in a manner incompatible with international law, to facilitate the appointment of a prime minister in Northern Ireland,” he said. declared.

The DUP had to be “realistic” about what was possible, adding that the party had had “a terrible number of weeks”.


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