Ottawa mum on whether Trudeau joining Biden’s G7 push on Northern Ireland peace

The government is not saying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will stress the need not to “threate” peace in Northern Ireland during G7 meetings with US President Joe Biden.

The gathering comes as the UK is facing accusations of trying to undermine its Brexit commitment by imposing customs checks on goods coming into Northern Ireland from the UK, instead moving those checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic. To try to do at the limit. of Ireland.

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But when Biden’s national security adviser told the BBC on Wednesday that the US president plans to use the G7 forum to raise the issue with the UK’s Boris Johnson, the Canadian government would not say whether Trudeau would do the same. plan to do.

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Granthshala News contacted the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday to ask whether Trudeau would take the risks posed to the fragile peace in Northern Ireland with Johnson at the G7.

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That request was passed to political staff in the office of Secretary of State Marc Garneau, who passed questions to bureaucrats at Granthshala Affairs Canada.

“Canada is concerned about the recent violence in Northern Ireland. Canadians helped support the establishment of the Good Friday Agreement, and Canada has worked relentlessly to support the peace process,” a spokesman for the department said. said.

“We encourage the UK and EU, in the context of their post-Brexit relationship, to continue working together to ensure the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement is preserved.”

Garneau tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that he had spoken with his Irish counterpart Simon Coveney the same day about “priorities of mutual interest to our countries, including support for media freedom and human rights, regional issues and the benefits of CETA”. “

The department did not provide a readout of that conversation, but confirmed that Garneau and Coveney discussed Northern Ireland, stating: “Minister Garneau reiterated Canada’s strong support for the peace process and the good news in the context of Brexit.” Preserved the integrity of the Friday Agreement.”

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Officials would not say whether Garneau raised the issue at the G7 foreign minister’s meeting last month.

Eamon Mackie, the Irish ambassador to Canada, described the conversation as “entire”.

“We are quite certain that Canada fully supports the agreement and its implementation, including with respect to the Protocol,” he told Granthshala News, noting that he would convey his concerns to the Good Friday Agreement to the US administration. Wasn’t surprised to see him giving voice. respected.

Mackie noted that Irish officials have gone to “extraordinary” lengths to be flexible with the UK and this is not the first rough patch for officials to navigate in the relationship.

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“We have gone through difficult times before. With a little goodwill and cooperation, we can move forward.”

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The Good Friday Agreement is a deal setting out the conditions for peace in Northern Ireland.

This established both power-sharing between the parties in Northern Ireland and a pledge not to impose a hard border between Northern Ireland in the south and the Republic of Ireland.

Maintaining that open border across the island of Ireland was a central point of concern in Brexit negotiations as Ireland remains a member of the European Union, while Northern Ireland is part of the UK and, along with England, Scotland and Wales, left the EU. I went. Brexit.

This means that some EU standards such as quality checks on meat and dairy are no longer in place on goods made and shipped within the UK. The Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit deal made an agreement that those tests would be carried out in the Northern Ireland. Irish port rather than the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

However, Boris Johnson’s government has faced accusations of jeopardizing the Good Friday agreement by not fully implementing those checks and pushing back in the EU to loosen those conditions.

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Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said in an interview to the BBC on Wednesday that the US President planned to emphasize the importance of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the G7.

He described the protocol as “important” to protect the “spirit, promise and future” of the Good Friday Agreement, and added that no further avenues should “jeopardize” the agreement.

“Our concern is very deep on the issue of Northern Ireland and we want to ensure that the work that the UK, Ireland and the United States have done in addition to the major parties in Northern Ireland is respected and protected and we If we go ahead, respect it,” he said. “That is what we are going to focus on the most.”

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McKee said he is confident that the people in Northern Ireland want to keep the peace and that any disruption as officials will not erase that hard work to pursue a path that respects protocol.

“There are tensions and real repercussions from these things, but ultimately, it all comes from Brexit,” he said. “We’re trying to manage something we never predicted and couldn’t have imagined – and so far, we’ve managed it,”…

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