Le ministre français des Affaires européennes a averti la Grande-Bretagne de ne pas jouer à des jeux avec des règles commerciales spéciales post-Brexit pour l'Irlande du Nord, alors que les craintes d'un été de violence dans la province augmentent. </p><div> <p>S'exprimant à La Haye samedi, Clement Beaune a exhorté Londres à être "responsable" du prétendu protocole d'Irlande du Nord, qui maintient la province dans le marché unique et l'union douanière de l'UE malgré le départ du Royaume-Uni du bloc.
“We cannot accept that there is a political game with such a sensitive issue,” Beaune said in an interview following discussions with the Dutch foreign minister.
“It is a central element of European stability, you cannot play with it. We will never play with it. But we cannot allow the protocol to be taken lightly by any party, ”he added.
Fears of sectarian violence before the “march season”
Tensions have mounted in Northern Ireland over the so-called ‘protocol’ which entered into force in early 2021, with the worst riots in years having erupted in April and Prime Minister Arlene Foster announcing her resignation.
Northern Ireland remains deeply divided between pro-British trade unionists, mostly Protestants, and largely Catholic pro-Irish nationalists, despite a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of violence against the British regime. .
Trade unionists believe the protocol threatens Northern Ireland’s status in the UK and strengthens the prospect of union with the Republic of Ireland.
UK Brexit Minister David Frost on Monday urged the EU to compromise on the protocol before Northern Ireland enters a tense summer of events marking Protestant ascendancy over Catholics.
Fears grew that tensions could rise again around July 12, when trade unionists commemorate the events of the late 17th century that entrenched Protestant rule over the northern part of Catholic Ireland.
Strengthen links between Paris and Dublin
But Beaune, who met Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in Dublin earlier this week with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said London should not try to advocate for the removal of the protocol. .
“Protocol is not a problem. The protocol is the solution to the border problems created by Brexit, ”Beaune said.
On Thursday, Coveney warned Britain that a unilateral deviation from the rules would be a “disaster”.