Irish PM expresses concerns to EU chief over Northern Ireland protocol move

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Micheal Martin attends the European Union leaders face-to-face summit in Brussels, Belgium October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s Prime Minister expressed concern on Friday to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen over the executive’s decision to override part of the Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol in its plan to control exports of vaccines from the EU.

“We are aware of the issue and the Taoiseach (prime minister) is currently in discussions with European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen to express our concerns,” a spokesman for Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said.

Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom’s customs union and the EU’s single market for goods under the protocol. That erected some trade barriers with the rest of the UK that angered pro-British Northern Irish politicians who called on London to retaliate against the EU on Friday.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama