MICHEAL MARTIN has admitted concerns over different approaches to travel between Ireland and the UK following a meeting with Prime Minister on Thursday.

The two leaders met in Northern Ireland to discuss – among other things – how travel between the Republic and the north, as well as the rest of the UK, would work going forward amid the crisis.

Martin said that while he and Johnson had “shared concerns” with regards to the issue, their approaches weren’t “synergistic” and that questions around travel would likely continue into 2021.

“The Prime Minister understands the complexity of all of this and that is a moving story every week,” the Taoiseach told RTE News.

“He was outlining initiatives [the UK] will have to take in some aspects of travel in relation to other countries at different times.

Micheal Martin and Boris Johnson discuss travel links between Ireland and UK amid Covid-19 … BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND – AUGUST 13: Prime Minister (right) and Taoiseach Micheal Martin walking in the gardens at Hillsborough Castle during the Prime Minister’s visit to Belfast on August 13, 2020 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Brian Lawless – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“This is a moving narrative because of the rise in cases in different countries at different times.

“There was a mutual understanding of where we were both coming from here and, if you like, a shared concern about the continuing impact of Covid.

“We both shared a view that, to all intents and purposes, we will living with Covid right through 2021.

“It was about sharing observations in terms of the impact of Covid than any sort of hectoring of the other side.  It’s not harmonious or synergistic in terms of the different approaches on travel, but that is true across the board on a European level.”

The two leaders have agreed to meet regularly, with a particular focus on Brexit, and Martin said that Mr Johnson assured him that the UK is willing to reach a “comprehensive agreement” with the EU.


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