The leader of the left-wing Sinn Fin party has said that the British government’s move to suspend certain parts of the Northern Ireland Code could affect Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) as it seeks to end the island’s political division.
Mary Lou McDonald, in her post-Brexit arrangements for trade in the Irish Sea, cites the possibility of an EU retaliation if the UK continues to threaten to trigger Section 16 of the suspension mechanism.
The British “PA Media” news agency quoted Mary McDonald as saying, “This again shows a great deal of optimism about the possibility of Britain implementing the 16th Amendment, and again shows that Ireland and especially Northern Ireland are directly affected.”
He said: “If the British government thinks it has all the cards, it is wrong, and it is playing a very dangerous game and could affect the entire withdrawal agreement.”
McDonald said the EU’s proposals to address ethical issues had gone far beyond what many expected.
“The truth now is that the ball is in the court of Boris Johnson (British Prime Minister) and his government, and they must act in good faith and they must take a serious stand with a long-term vision,” he added.
The remarks by the Sinn Fin leader have been followed by a stalemate over ethical talks between London and Brussels, and amid growing speculation that the British government is moving to trigger Section 16 later this month.
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