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Taoiseach will talk Ukraine and protocol when he meets Johnson at Twickenham

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T

he Irish premier said the war in Ukraine will be at the “upmost in our mind” when he meets Boris Johnson at the rugby this weekend.

Micheal Martin said he will talk to the Prime Minister about Russia’s invasion of its neighbour on Saturday, as well as the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“We will have some discussions, obviously, because right throughout the weekend the plight of Ukraine is upmost in our mind,” he told reporters.

“The relationship and the very constructive partnership between the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States has been vital for standing up for democracy, freedom of speech and opinion – the very basic standards that we share.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin signs the guest book as he arrives for a formal dinner at Mansion House in London (James Manning/PA) / PA Wire

“I welcome what has been very constructive engagement between the UK, the European Union and the United States.

“I will take the opportunity to say that to the Prime Minister tomorrow and I think the British Government deserves credit for its leadership role on this issue internationally and that’s been well reflected in the responses of eastern European countries.”

The pair will meet at the Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham.

Arriving at a reception in central London hosted by the city’s Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny on Friday, Mr Martin jokingly said he hopes Ireland will emerge victorious while he is sitting alongside Mr Johnson.

The Taoiseach will also attend an Enterprise Ireland business event and roundtable at the Embassy of Ireland.

On Sunday, Mr Martin will attend London’s St Patrick’s Day festival and parade, which this year will celebrate “community” and key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will then travel to Washington DC for a series of engagements.

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