FILE PHOTO: UK Foreign Minister David Frost delivers a speech on Brexit at the Conservative Party’s annual meeting in Manchester, Britain, October 4, 2021. Reuters / Toby Melville
10 October 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – The UK’s exit negotiator David Frost believes the EU should agree to make “significant changes” to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which limits the state’s trade and border rules. controls. The UK and Ireland traded barbs on Twitter on Sunday.
The protocol was part of Brexit Prime Minister Boris Johnson had negotiated with the European Union, but London was within a year of its entry due to the barriers faced by companies when importing British goods into Northern Ireland. It repeats that it will need to be rewritten.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney asked on Twitter:
This prompted a rebuke from Frost: “I don’t want to chat on Twitter, but because @simoncoveney started the process…”
Frost said Britain’s concerns about the role of the European Court of Justice in the process had been raised three months ago, rejecting Coveney’s claim that he was making new demands.
“The problem is that very few people seem to have heard it,” Frost said.
On Saturday, Frost released an excerpt from a speech to be held again this week, calling for change and expressing his desire to free the protocol from the oversight of European judges.
In response, Ireland’s Coveney said Britain had created a new “redline” barrier to progress, knowing the EU could not move forward.
The column marks the start of a crucial week of long-standing debate over how to control the flow of goods between the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and the European Union.
The European Commission is expected to introduce new measures on Wednesday aimed at solving post-Brexit trade issues, but has reiterated its intention to renegotiate the protocol.
A day earlier, Frost will deliver a speech to the diplomatic community in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.
He says endless talks are not an option and that if a solution cannot be agreed upon quickly, London must act using the safeguards of Article 16.
Article 16 allows both parties to take unilateral action if the protocol is deemed to be prejudicially affected.
(Reporting by William James, Editing by Jason Neely)