“Recent developments regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol have the potential to undermine confidence in the political process and threaten economic well-being.” The Irish bishops wrote this in a final statement released at the end of the general conference yesterday. The reference is to the special protocol decided in the wake of Brexit, whereby Northern Ireland remains in the European Customs Union from a commercial point of view, even though it remains politically British. However, on Monday, the British government led by Boris Johnson announced that it would propose a law on Northern Ireland’s commercial status, which, if passed unchanged, would breach the UK’s exit agreements with the EU. . Hence the position of the Irish bishops. “While these developments may be seen as purely political issues, they actually encompass the day-to-day reality of northern people and communities. Urgent help is therefore needed to address the crisis in cost of living and the crisis in health services, to preserve peace and serve the common good. Once again we urge political leaders to recognize that a negotiated and proactive solution between the UK Government and the EU is best served and promoted in the service and promotion of peace and stability.
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