05/02/2024 – 11:53
The British and Irish prime ministers, Rishi Sunak and Leo Varadkar, met in Belfast on Monday (5) with Republican Michelle O'Neill, the new leader of Northern Ireland's new government, celebrating the lifting of a ban on companies in the territory after two years. of paralysis.
Conservative Rishi Sunak hailed it as a “historic day” for the country and expressed his satisfaction at the “constructive meetings” with the region's new leaders, where power is shared between unionists who protect land in the UK. , and the Republicans, who support the unification of the island.
“It's very good news that companies are back in action,” said fellow Conservative Leo Varadkar.
Northern Ireland's companies have been paralyzed since early 2022 due to the boycott of the DUP, the unionist party that defends Northern Ireland's accession to the United Kingdom.
After leaving the European Union (EU), the DUP protested against customs restrictions imposed on goods from the rest of the United Kingdom.
In the DUP's view, the move weakened ties with the United Kingdom and favored those who support union with the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU and occupies the southern part of the island.
But the British Conservative government and the DUP reached an agreement last week to resolve the situation.
This fact allowed Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Féin's deputy leader, to become the first Irish Union leader to take over Northern Ireland's government on Saturday.
The arrival of a republican as prime minister represents a historic turning point in the British territory, marked by the last three decades of bloody conflict.
Michelle O'Neill works alongside DUP Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Bengally as a result of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the conflict, which killed 3,500 people.
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