During his visit to London, National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) met not only his rival Lindsay Hoyle but also the heir to the throne, Prince Charles. As reported by “Upper Austrian News”, the hobby gardener gave the royal family self-grown roses. Sobotka also met with former Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Tobias Elwood in the London Parliament, Parliamentary Correspondents reported on Tuesday.
At a reception, Sobotka and Education Minister Martin Polosch (ÖVP) presented citizenship certificates to the descendants of Nazi victims. Speaking to Speaker Hoyle on Tuesday, Sobotka highlighted the EU-UK relationship. Even after Brexit, “integration and the common good will prevail,” Sobotka said.
He emphasized the need to focus on Europe’s security and stability. At the same time, Sobotka reiterated the EU’s position that the renegotiation of the Northern Ireland protocol into the Brexit agreement, which London had criticized, was “not an option”. However, “implementation simplifications” are possible.
The Conservative government wants to end the customs restrictions imposed on the protocol between Northern Ireland and other parts of the country. These were introduced in the wake of Brexit to prevent the creation of an economic border with the Republic of Ireland. Such a move risks a resurgence of decades of bloody conflict between unionists and Irish nationalists, which ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
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