John Redwood lashes out at EU over Northern Ireland protocol
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Sir John Redwood erupted at BBC Newsnight’s Gavin Esler when the presenter said the European Union have respected the Northern Ireland Protocol to the letter. Despite months of talks, the EU and the UK have failed to broker the impasse around the Protocol as the EU has refused to renegotiate it, suggesting proposals instead. Under the current agreement, goods travelling from Great Britain into Northern Ireland must be checked.
Sir John cut off BBC Newsnight’s Gavin Esler, lashing out: “They haven’t stuck to the letter of the Protocol.
“They are violating the Protocol.
“If you had any support for the United Kingdom, you would see that and you would put those points to the EU and the Republic of Ireland who consistently wrongly claim that we are breaking the Protocol, which we’re not.
“And that they’re breaking the Protocol when they demonstrably are.”
Northern Ireland’s political crisis has placed the Northern Ireland Protocol back at the top of the UK agenda. DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson refused to nominate a speaker at the Stormont Assembly until all his and his party’s concerns over the Protocol were addressed. They say the customs border in the Irish Sea is worsening the cost-of-living crisis and placing Northern Ireland further apart from Great Britain.
Amid political instability, the UK’s Government has tried to extract concessions from the EU in vain. Liz Truss is expected to announce the plans that could override parts of the agreement signed in 2020.
Following phone talks with EU’s Brexit Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, the UK Foreign Ministry put out a statement, saying Liz Truss noted “that the current situation was causing unacceptable disruption to trade and had created a two-tier system where people in Northern Ireland weren’t being treated the same as everyone else in the UK.”
Sir John continued: “Why do they reckon in the first place? They had no need to (renegotiate the Protocol).
“It’s our trade, it’s our country.
“They don’t put barriers for sending things out of Manchester and Liverpool, I’m pleased to see.
“Why have barriers for Liverpool into Belfast? It’s none of their business.”
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“What we have done because we’ve been extremely patient, friendly and generous over two years of exhaustive talks with someone who clearly doesn’t have the power or the will to reach an agreement is the United Kingdom has put forward a number of very good fixes to give them every kind of guarantee they possibly want”, Sir John said.
“For their parts of the agreement, the UK has never quibbled with the idea that their single market must be fully protected from any goods or products passing through Northern Ireland.
“We will enforce the compliance on our exporters so that we do their work for them.”
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