EU not interested in protecting the Belfast Peace Agreement: Northern Ireland’s first minister

© Reuters. Puzzle with printed EU and UK flags

LONDON (Reuters) – Northern Ireland’s first minister said the European Union’s actions had shown that protecting the trade bloc, rather than the Belfast peace deal, is a priority.

“All they care about is protecting their bloc, they are not interested in how they claim to protect the Belfast Accords. If they were they wouldn’t be taking the actions they are taking,” Northern Ireland’s First Secretary Arlene Foster told BBC Radio on Friday.

The European Union promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period to control food imports into Northern Ireland. Brussels said this was against the provisions of the UK divorce treaty.

Since then, Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary groups have announced that they are temporarily withdrawing support for the 1998 peace agreement known as the Belfast Peace Agreement or the Good Friday Agreement due to concerns about the Brexit deal.

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