A trade war between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be “shocking” and “unnecessary,” according to Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin.
He urged the UK government to “go into the tunnel and negotiate” improvements to Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit commercial arrangements.
According to the BBC, Ireland and the European Union “do not want a trade war” with the United Kingdom.
The government stated last week that it will overrule crucial elements of the Brexit deal in the coming weeks.
After the UK chose to leave the EU, Boris Johnson’s government reached an agreement with the EU in 2019.
The EU has the right to suspend portions of the post-Brexit trade pact if the UK unilaterally abandons negotiated components of the accord that create obstacles to goods trade between the UK and Northern Ireland.
When asked if the EU was planning to impose duties on politically sensitive UK exports at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Martin declined to “go into the minutiae of anything like that, because ideally, it’s not something we’ll ever have to contemplate.”
“For the time being, all I’m saying is go down there, get into the tunnel, UK government and EU, negotiate, and get the technocrats down there,” he continued.
When questioned why the EU was considering such a step at a time when inflation was growing, the Irish prime minister responded it was only the UK that was making threats.
“The only unilateral action taken here is by the UK government, which has threatened to rip up an international agreement reached with the European Union,” he added.
“That’s the only real danger here. And that’s exactly what occurred.”
The taoiseach stated that a deal between the parties was “doable,” and that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “don’t want minute checks on everything moving into Northern Ireland – they want to settle this.”
Some of the world’s largest multinational corporations told the BBC that they are already seeking guarantees about the likelihood of a trade war between the UK and the EU at the World Economic Forum.
Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, stated earlier this week that “only Putin” would be delighted with a dispute between the EU and the UK at this time, adding that he was attempting to “cool down the situation.”
On Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visited Northern Ireland, underlining that a negotiated accord remained her top priority.
She has, however, stated that she intends to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that will overturn crucial sections of the Brexit Northern Ireland accord.