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On Sunday, the European Commission celebrated 36 years since the raising of the EU flag on Brussels’ institutional buildings. Hailing the moment, the official Twitter account of the French Presidency of the EU Council posted: “36 years ago, the European flag was officially raised outside the buildings of the European Commission, before the Commission’s President at the time, Jacques Delors.”

Mr Beaune took the opportunity to take a swipe at those “who want to leave” the EU, in a thinly-veiled hint at Brexit Britain.

Re-sharing the original post, he added: “Against those who want to leave or disobey, I am proud of the European flag, which enriches our identity and strengthens our country.”

Mr Beaune has given his fair share of criticism to the UK, only last summer saying he was “worried” by Britain’s “behaviour” towards the Brexit agreement.

The swipe comes as the UK and the EU are still locking horns over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The protocol is aimed at avoiding a hard border with Ireland but has created a series of economic barriers to Irish Sea trade.

The UK Government last week announced its intention to table legislation at Westminster that would override parts of the protocol without the approval of the EU, amid the ongoing power-sharing impasse at Stormont.

The ongoing row with Brussels has also sparked criticism in Ireland.

Last week, Ireland’s foreign affairs minister accused the British Government of pushing a “disingenuous” and “dangerous” claim that the Northern Ireland Protocol is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement.

Simon Coveney told the Irish parliament it is “deeply disappointing” that the Westminster Government plans to move forward with legislation to unilaterally override parts of the protocol.

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He said that is against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, which has embedded Northern Ireland’s peace process.

The Fine Gael minister said: “The British Government now claim that implementing the protocol, that we agreed together, is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement.

“This is disingenuous and it’s dangerous. I find it deeply disappointing that the British Government has said it intends to table legislation in the coming weeks that will unilaterally disapply elements of the protocol, which is now international law.

“This action is contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, where genuine trust and partnership between both governments have time and time again proved crucial to share progress.

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“As the protocol is an integral part of an international agreement, such action would amount to a serious violation of international law also.

“I’ve urged the British Government to reconsider, to weigh the risks that would flow from unilateral action, and to step back from this course of action as they have done previously.

“Unilateral action is contrary to the wishes of the majority of people and businesses in Northern Ireland.”

In a message to the unionist community, Mr Coveney said the EU has “consistently negotiated” with the British Government to address genuine concerns, and the ball is now in the UK’s court.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega