Brexit: Northern Ireland 'being used as a plaything' says Poots
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Baron Moylan, a former adviser to Boris Johnson, has warned Brexit minister Lord Frost not to fall for what he described as an EU “trick”, but also praised him for the impression he has made since he became a member of the Upper House. The former chief advisor to the Prime Minister when he was Mayor of London issued the warning amid the ongoing dispute over the Protocol preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland. Lord David Frost is preparing for a crunch meeting in London with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic this week, who has warned relations between the bloc and Britain would “sour” if the situation was not resolved.
Commenting on the stance from the EU, Baron Moylan told Express.co.uk: “What they want is they say ‘You could reduce taxes in Northern Ireland if only you came back and started following our rules on food and agriculture.
“‘Why don’t you do that, come back halfway into the European Union, follow our rules?’”
Baron Moylan explained: “Well, of course, that’s a complete trick. That’s just using Northern Ireland to get back control of our regulations, and our food and drink sector and to make it more difficult for us to do international trade deals.
“So it’s terribly important that Frost stands up and says, that’s the path we’re not going to go down.
“And then we’ll just have to see if there’s any give or compromise once they understand that.
“Their current attitude is ‘Come back into the European Union solution, we don’t have to change anything but you could just make it all easy by rejoining the European Union a bit here, a bit there and soon enough you’ll be back.’”
But Britons have once again launched a stinging attack against the tactics used by the EU in negotiations and have destroyed any chance of the UK rejoining the bloc.
Reacting to our initial story, one reader raged: “The idea of rejoining the EU is ludicrous at best.
Time for Boris to show some backbone and pull the rug from under this farce.”
A second person wrote: “The people of the UK wanted leave, we want no part of this Circus act of the EU dictatorship.
“We are out Ursula and her best buddies need to get over it.”
Another reader fumed: “Just ignore them. Clowns in a failing circus. Only want money as usual.”
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A fourth person added: “Quite honestly, the EU’s antics since we voted to leave seem to have hardened UK resolve to never return, not made it more likely.”
Relations with the EU have deteriorated significantly since the UK finally cut all ties with the bloc at the end of last year, with the implementation of the Protocol becoming a major source of frustration.
Most recently, European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic warned relations between the bloc and the UK would “sour” if the situation was not resolved.
Ahead of the meeting with Mr Sefcovic later this week, Lord Frost called for more pragmatism from the EU and urged it to adopt a “new playbook” for talks.
Writing in the Financial Times, he said: “We are working round the clock to resolve these problems consensually. We have sent a range of policy papers to the EU to outline solutions.
“Just last week, we sent a detailed proposal for a veterinary agreement based on equivalence and for an authorised trader scheme to reduce paperwork and checks. But we have had very little back.
“We want an approach based on the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland. That means putting the Good Friday Agreement first and supporting rather than undermining the political process and the institutions.
“This is perfectly compatible with a prudent risk-based approach to protecting the EU’s single market too, and we accept our share of responsibility in that as a neighbour and exporter.
He added: “But it also requires a common sense and risk-based approach from the EU as well.
“The EU needs a new playbook for dealing with neighbours, one that involves pragmatic solutions between friends, not the imposition of one side’s rules on the other and legal purism.”
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