British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Taoiseach Micheál Martin today that the European Union had to show pragmatism to end a stand-off over rules for post-Brexit trade involving Northern Ireland.

"The prime minister emphasised that the way the protocol is currently operating is causing significant disruption for the people in Northern Ireland," Mr Johnson's Downing Street office said, referring to the rules.

Mr Johnson told the Taoiseach by phone that his government would outline its approach on the Northern Ireland Protocol to parliament tomorrow.

An Irish Government spokesperson said that Mr Martin told the prime minister that the British government's statements on the protocol tomorrow would be "carefully considered".

Mr Martin also "stressed the EU-UK framework for issues related to the protocol" in his call with Mr Johnson.

The pair also discussed the British plans to cease criminal prosecutions for murders committed during the Troubles.

The move has been met by fierce criticism from parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government, and these concerns were raised again by the Taoiseach in today's call.

An Irish Government spokesperson said: "[Mr Martin] emphasised that there can be no pre-determined outcome to the consultation process currently under way."

A Downing Street spokesperson said that Mr Johnson "stressed that the current focus on criminal justice is not working for anyone and looked forward to further engagement with the Irish Government, parties in Northern Ireland and others on the UK's proposals".

They also "exchanged views" on the current Covid-19 situation, particularly in regards to the Delta variant.

"The Taoiseach and Prime Minister agreed to stay in touch and looked forward to an opportunity to meet in person in the future," an Irish Government spokesperson added.

Additional reporting Mícheál Lehane