Taoiseach holds first telephone call with new British prime minister

Martin and Truss hold brief discussions on protocol and other issues

Taoiseach Micheál Martin spoke to the new British prime minister Liz Truss by telephone on Friday afternoon, Government Buildings has confirmed.

The two leaders discussed a range of subjects, including the Northern Ireland protocol, aides said.

However, sources say there were no detailed negotiations on the issue, though nor were any expected following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Mr Martin extended his condolences to the British government on the monarch’s death and also congratulated Ms Truss on her appointment, telling her that he looked forward to “working constructively with her”, according to a statement issued by his spokesman.


The two leaders also discussed the situation in Ukraine and “recognised the substantive EU-UK cooperation as part of the global response,” the statement said. The two leaders also “exchanged views on common challenges including soaring energy prices and the rising cost of living”.

The call with Mr Martin was one of the first round of calls Ms Truss has held with world leaders, a priority that will encourage the Government here as it seeks a fresh engagement with the British government on the protocol.

Irish Government sources reacted positively to the call which they hope indicates an intention to engage realistically on the protocol, though officials remain cautious and said that they will see what moves the British make in the coming weeks. They said the tone of the call was warm and friendly, with the two leaders speaking for some time about the late Queen Elizabeth and the contribution she had made to Anglo-Irish relations.

Earlier, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said there was a window of opportunity for an agreement on the protocol before fresh elections in Northern Ireland must be called at the end of October.

Mr Coveney told journalists at the Fine Gael think-in in Kilkenny that some of the “early signals” from London since the new government there was appointed this week suggested that there was “an appetite” for discussions with the EU, “but I wouldn’t overplay it.”

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times