Sunak of the UK made his first visit to Northern Ireland as PM | Daily News Byte

Sunak of the UK made his first visit to Northern Ireland as PM

 | Daily News Byte

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Rishi Sunak, the new leader of the Conservative Party and incoming Prime Minister, waves as he leaves the Conservative Party headquarters in central London after being announced as the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest on 24 October 2022.

The talks involving Rishi Sunak were expected to focus on the dispute over post-Brexit trade rules.
Photo: AFP / Daniel Leal

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with the main political parties in Northern Ireland on Thursday in his first visit to the region since taking office in October.

The talks were expected to focus on the dispute over post-Brexit trade rules, which have blocked the normalization of relations between the UK and the European Union and plunged domestic politics into crisis.

After a long stalemate, Britain and the European Union resumed talks in October on how to fix problems related to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which introduced checks last year on some goods coming from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The EU has said it is “very confident” that a positive conclusion will be reached if Britain shows political will.

Any deal would need to overcome opposition within Sunac’s Conservative Party and Northern Ireland’s largest pro-British party, the Democratic Unionist Party.

Sunac’s office posted his picture after talks with the leaders of the five main parties, including the DUP and Irish nationalist Sinn Fein.

The DUP withdrew from Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government in February, a key part of the 1998 peace deal, in protest at the trade probe. Neither a power-sharing government nor the Stormont Assembly can function without the support of the DUP.

The Sunak meetings followed a round table with party leaders hosted by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland earlier in the day to discuss solutions for the return of power-sharing government to the region.

Sunac was also due to meet with Northern Ireland businesses and communities.

Regarding the proposed deal to assemble three Royal Navy solid support ships at Harland and Wolfe’s shipyard in Belfast, the statement said the trip would mark “the return of naval shipbuilding to Northern Ireland”.

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