Play by OUR rules! Lord Frost ordered to back down and bow to EU demands on Brexit row
Brexit: EU rules 'out of the question' for UK says Menon
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
In a speech at a Belfast university, European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic insisted the Brexit minister should drop his demands to renegotiate the hated protocol to avoid a hard border. The top eurocrat suggested his British counterpart should spend less time trying to scrap the European Court of Justice’s role in the region and look instead at ending the disruption caused by the measures. Mr Sefcovic appealed to Lord Frost to meet him in the middle ground to finally broker a solution that brings an end to the concerns surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Slovak diplomat said: “I believe that our focus should be on those issues that matter the most to the people of Northern Ireland, and not on requests, such as removing the role of the European Court of Justice.”
He suggested that EU and UK officials should instead look at ways to ease the burden of the Brussels-ordered trade checks in the region.
And he signalled that the bloc wanted to find better ways to involve Northern Irish politicians in future decisions on the Protocol.
Mr Sefcovic added: “A renegotiation of the Protocol – as the UK government is suggesting – would mean instability, uncertainty and unpredictability in Northern Ireland.”
The Government last month in July a “Command Paper” on its plans to end the disruption in Northern Ireland caused by the post-Brexit border fix.
The document stressed that Lord Frost wanted to entirely rewrite the Protocol to remove the ECJ’s influence and scrap all trade checks between Great Britain and the region.
Eurocrats were told they risk food shortages and disorder with tough border checks.
At the time, Lord Frost said trade disruption had caused “considerable disruption to everyday lives. There has also been societal instability, seen most regrettably with the disorder across Northern Ireland at Easter.”
He said that Unionist communities feel they have been separated from the UK, with “profound political consequences”.
The Brexit minister has since implemented a “standstill” on the introduction of EU red tape in the region to give both sides space to find a more permanent solution.
In his address to Queen’s University, Mr Sefcovic said the EU was prepared to agree to a series of compromises in order to end the row.
The bloc’s Brexit chief said this would include bending the EU’s rules to protect the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.
MUST READ: Eight EU nations say no way to Brussels as bloc tries to impose rules
But he also blamed the UK Government’s decision to quit the single market and customs union for the chaos caused by the Protocol.
“For my part, I will do whatever it takes to ensure that Northern Ireland has access to all the medicine it needs,” Mr Sefcovic said.
“But I also need to be honest: while we will continue looking for solutions to minimise the effects of Brexit on your everyday lives, we will never be able to remove them entirely – such are the consequences of Brexit and of the choices of the UK Government.”
Mr Sefcovic also addressed the DUP’s threat to collapse Stormont if the Northern Ireland Protocol isn’t scrapped.
Economist lays out truth about Brexit impact [ANALYSIS]
IKEA blames Brexit for UK supply problems but not Dutch [INSIGHT]
Euro crisis worse than Brexit! Angela Merkel’s stunning confession [REVEALED]
Brexit grace period extension discussed by Leo Varadkar
Unionist chief Sir Jeffrey Donaldson yesterday accused Brussels of risking a flare-up in violence with its fussy approach to the region.
He vowed to collapse Stormont in weeks unless the the Northern Ireland Protocol is overhauled to remove customs checks in the Irish Sea.
He also insisted Brussels bureaucrats would be to blame if there is a return to violence.
Responding to the threat, Mr Sefcovic said: “I will not mince my words. The Protocol is not the problem.
“On the contrary, it is the only solution we have. Failing to apply it will not make problems disappear, but simply take away the tools to solve them.
“I am, of course, acutely aware of how some in Northern Ireland feel about the Protocol, in particular in the Unionist community.”
Source: Read Full Article