German government stands with Ireland

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Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney may well echo President Kennedy this week.

He could say ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’ after the German government joined the Irish government in condemning the UK government as it prepares to roll back previously agreed Brexit and Northern Ireland Protocol deals .

In a joint article written for Britain’s Sunday newspaper, The Observer, the content of which was reported on both sides of the Atlantic, Coveney and her German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, took aim at British moves to dismantle the protocol, which is enshrined in an agreement between the UK and the EU.

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“Germany and Ireland slam UK plan to scrap deal with Northern Ireland,” headlines Politico.com.

Coveney and Baerbock wrote: “Twenty-four years ago people from all over the island of Ireland came out in droves to vote for the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. Their vote was a clear vote against conflict and violence, to ensure that all children on the island of Ireland can grow up in peace. It was a truly remarkable and defining moment.

“The agreement was explicitly built on the principles of partnership, equality and mutual respect. Its defining legacy was to commit everyone to continued dialogue in order to resolve differences.

“The EU played a vital role in the peace process. The architects of the agreement were fully aware that the EU itself was a peace project, based on international cooperation and mutual understanding. Irish, EU membership and the single market have opened up a shared space where there was once division Over the past three decades, the EU has invested more than €1.5 billion in programs for the peace and cross-border cooperation.

“When the UK took the decision to leave the EU, it was clear that both sides, the EU and the UK, had to find a common solution to protect the Good Friday Agreement and preserve the precious peace for all.

“That solution, reached after long and hard negotiations, is the Northern Ireland Protocol. It is the solution that the British government agreed to two years ago. It expressly recognizes the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the principle of consent as set out in the Good Friday agreement.”

The joint Irish-German statement comes amid a fresh crisis for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has had to deal with the resignation of two senior Cabinet ministers this week.

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