London remains committed to the Northern Ireland accord. This is stated in a statement released on Wednesday by the British government following a telephone conversation between the head of the British cabinet Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Michel Martin.
The text notes that "the Prime Minister has reaffirmed the commitment of the United Kingdom to the implementation of the Protocol on the Status of Northern Ireland". The premiers also discussed bilateral relations, and Johnson reiterated his desire to strengthen ties and broaden the dialogue between the countries in the future.
The UK government introduced a domestic market bill on Wednesday to regulate trade between the kingdom's constituent parts since the end of the transitional period following the country's exit from the European Union (Brexit) on December 31, 2020. The document explicitly states that some of its provisions will indeed "be valid, despite the inconsistency or incompatibility with international or national law." This is primarily about one of the main points of the Brexit deal - the consolidation of the status of Northern Ireland as an entity that is part of the kingdom's customs area, but at the same time retains access to the single market and the EU customs zone.
The new bill has already provoked protests from not only the European Union but also Wales and Scotland, where London is accused of trying to centralize power in the state, as well as even from members of the ruling Conservative Party, who warn about the dire consequences of the adoption of this bill for the reputation of Great Britain on the international arena.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the ongoing negotiations between Brussels and London on the conclusion of a free trade agreement after Brexit have actually reached a dead end.