Micheál Martin pays tribute to Boris Johnson but stresses need for GFA partnership

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has paid tribute to outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and wished him and his family best wishes for the future.

"Britain is Ireland’s closest neighbour and the relationships between our two countries are long, deep and enduring. Our two Governments working in close partnership is a key underpinning for peace and prosperity on these islands.

"While Prime Minister Johnson and I engaged actively together, we didn’t always agree, and the relationship between our Governments has been strained and challenged in recent times," he said.

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The Taoiseach said that Ireland and Britain's 'joint responsibilities concerning stewardship of the Good Friday Agreement' require both administrations 'to work together in a spirit of respect, trust and partnership'.

Taoiseach Micheál MartinTaoiseach Micheál Martin
Taoiseach Micheál Martin
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Shailesh Vara appointed Secretary of State for the north

"That is more important than ever today and I would once again urge a pulling back from unilateral action, whether that be on dealing with the legacy of the past, human rights, or the Northern Ireland Protocol. We have now an opportunity to return to the true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that is needed to underpin the gains of the Good Friday Agreement.

"I welcome the fact that the United Kingdom and the European Union are working together closely in response to Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine. We need to see that approach extended to addressing other challenges, including the practical issues around implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol that are of genuine concern to people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

"I remain committed to working with the British Government and Prime Minister in that spirit in the times ahead," he concluded.