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Boris Johnson engaged in ‘endless provocation with EU’, shadow Northern secretary tells Labour conference in Dublin

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The UK's Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Louise Haigh. PA

The UK's Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Louise Haigh. PA

The UK's Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Louise Haigh. PA

The British Government is engaged in “endless provocation with the European Union,” according to the shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

British Labour MP Louise Haigh, in Dublin for the Labour Party conference at the Mansion House, said the threatened invocation of Article 16 by the Johnson administration meant now was “a perilous moment for Northern Ireland.”

She said: “The Tory government in Westminster is determined to continue to use Northern Ireland as an arena for their own poisonous game-playing and provocation.

“There is also endless provocation with the European Union in order to satisfy their own political agenda in Britain. I've been in Northern Ireland and in Dublin today meeting with political parties, ministers, and with the Government to talk about the way forward.”

She urged compromise, saying both sides should act with responsibility and make balancing concessions in the time head.

“What is at stake here is the people and communities of Northern Ireland and it's in their interest that a deal must urgently be found.”

Triggering Article 16 would create even further instability than the situation now being faced in the North, she said. “And in fact, it wouldn't be a solution, as many are pretending.

“It would only prolong and worsen the situation. So I'm urging both sides to give energy to the talks and to find a deal and compromise in the days and weeks ahead and make sure that Northern Ireland's interests and voices are at the table so that any deal is politically sustainable.”

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly commented: “We cannot put up any longer with the game-playing that Boris Johnson is going on with. Invoking Article 16 would be horrendous for Northern Ireland and Britain, and bad for these islands.”

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