Boris Johnson, Netherlands, European Union, Mark Rutte, Aukus

Boris Johnson, Netherlands

Johnson’s claim Dutch PM offered to mediate in Brexit row not true, say sources

Johnson’s claim Dutch PM offered to mediate in Brexit row not true, say sources

9/20/2021 4:54:00 PM

Johnson’s claim Dutch PM offered to mediate in Brexit row not true, say sources

Insiders reject inference of division among EU members on Northern Ireland issue

“I talked toMark Rutte[the Dutch PM] the other night, who wanted to come and see if he could mediate on the issue and I said, you know, we really want to make progress,” Johnson had said. “We seek a solution, but it has to be one that allows the free movement of goods between all parts of our country.”

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Dutch diplomatic sources expressed surprise at the prime minister’s comments, insisting that Rutte had instead specifically urged Johnson to be pragmatic in his dealings with the European Commission.Read moreThe EU’s executive branch has been tasked by member states with ensuring the UK implements the withdrawal agreement, including the Northern Ireland protocol setting out the post-Brexit border arrangements. Dutch sources rejected any suggestion that the commission was being sidelined through bilateral discussions or that there was a division among the 27 member states on the issue.

“The [Dutch] prime minister called onBoris Johnsonto be constructive, pragmatic and engage with the commission,” a Dutch diplomatic source said of last week’s meeting between the two leaders. “Both the UK and EU share the responsibility to make the protocol as negotiated and ratified on both sides of the Channel work for the people in Northern Ireland.”

The latest spat comes at a difficult time for UK-EU relations with the European Commission and the union’s 27 member states. Read more: The Guardian »

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