Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that there is an opportunity to reset the relationship between the British and Irish governments in respect of the Northern Ireland Protocol following the resignation of Boris Johnson.

Mr Martin earlier sent his best wishes to the outgoing British Prime Minister and urged a "pulling back" from unilateral action on the protocol.

Mr Johnson announced his resignation as Conservative Party leader at lunchtime today and said he will continue as Prime Minister until a successor has been appointed.

Mr Martin told RTÉ's Six One News he would like to see the next PM "go back to the fundamentals of how international relationships are conducted".

He added that before the Northern Ireland Protocol bill is ratified there is "another opportunity for the UK government to engage in substantive negotiations with the EU".

In a statement on Mr Johnson's resignation, the Taoiseach said Mr Johnson led the British government during an "especially challenging period, including dealing with the impact of Covid-19 and the response to the war on Ukraine".

"From a personal perspective I am conscious that he has been through a difficult few weeks and I extend my best wishes to him and his family for the future, following the announcement of his resignation," Mr Martin said.

"While Prime Minister Johnson and I engaged actively together, we didn’t always agree, and the relationship between our Governments has been strained and challenged in recent times.

"Our joint responsibilities concerning stewardship of the Good Friday Agreement, as well as nurturing broader bilateral relations between us, require us to work together in a spirit of respect, trust and partnership.

"That is more important than ever today and I would once again urge a pulling back from unilateral action, whether that be on dealing with the legacy of the past, human rights, or the Northern Ireland Protocol."

Mr Martin said there is now an opportunity to return to the "true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that is needed to underpin the gains of the Good Friday Agreement".

The Taoiseach welcomed cooperation between the UK and EU in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

"We need to see that approach extended to addressing other challenges, including the practical issues around implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol that are of genuine concern to people and businesses in Northern Ireland," he said.

"I remain committed to working with the British government and Prime Minister in that spirit in the times ahead."

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the Irish Government "stands ready to work with a new UK PM on protecting our shared achievements in the peace process and our shared responsibility under international law on Brexit".

"Let's start with getting a government in Stormont," he said. "I wish Boris Johnson and his family well."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald described Mr Johnson's interactions with Ireland as "wholly negative".

"Under his leadership, we've seen an attack on the Good Friday Agreement, threat after threat to break international law," she said.

Ms McDonald said Mr Johnson's government brought austerity to people in Northern Ireland and championed and brought "the disaster that is Brexit to all of us".

"I think it needs to be stated very clearly that whoever succeeds Boris Johnson now, as prime minister needs to change direction," she added.

Ms McDonald called for the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive to be established without further delay and for Michelle O'Neill to been returned as First Minister elect.

"We need government that delivers for people and we need it very, very quickly," she said.

Ms McDonald said: "Ireland will not be the collateral damage for the Tory Brexit.

"If Boris had his way he would stay on until 2030 or something ... the British government is a matter for the British people ... our concern is the impact of all of that on Ireland."

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce acknowledged Mr Johnson's resignation and called on the EU and UK to "constructively engage to resolve the issues relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol".

Director General of the BICC John McGrane said: "Through a process of constructive engagement, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce believes that the new prime minister has the opportunity to establish a renewed positive relationship with his or her counterparts in Ireland and Europe and protect the valuable trading links between the UK and Ireland."