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Northern Irish tension stems from Brexit not the Protocol, Coveney says

FILE PHOTO: Irish FM Coveney and his German counterpart Maas attend news conference in Berlin

LONDON (Reuters) – Mounting tensions in Northern Ireland stem from the nature of the Brexit deal pursued by Britain, and the Protocol trade solution is an attempt to resolve that and not the problem, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

“The Protocol essentially is an Irish and British and EU negotiated solution, an agreed solution, part of the Brexit agreement, to try to limit the disruptive impact of Brexit on Ireland and Northern Ireland,” he told BBC Radio on Wednesday.

“What is causing all of this tension is Brexit, not the Protocol, the Protocol is an attempt to try to reduce tension and solve problems linked to Brexit.”

(Reporting by Kate Holton and Alistair Smout, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

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