Nigel Farage mocks Remainers over Brexit fears
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A House of Lords committee warned the region could become a “permanent casualty” of Brexit unless the UK and EU can urgently find agree on a compromise. The committee, set up to examine the controversial post-Brexit trading arrangements for the Irish Sea, said in its report the European Union’s “lack of balance, understanding and flexibility” was having a devastating impact on trade within the UK. Britain has long claimed Brussels is enforcing more customs checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain than it does on goods entering the whole of the rest of the single market.
But the peers also attacked the UK Government over the simmering Brexit tensions with the EU, adding ministers had shown a “lack of clarity, transparency and readiness” on the Protocol.
Both sides were blasted for a “fundamentally flawed approach” to the issue, with the committee warning a lack of trust has “contributed to a serious deterioration in relations between London, Belfast, Dublin and Brussels”.
Lord Jay of Ewelme, Chair of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Committee, said: “The publication last week of the Government’s proposals for a new way forward on the Protocol is a significant development that would fundamentally alter the way in which the Protocol operates.
“As we await the EU’s considered response, the clear message from our report and the evidence we have heard is that both the UK and the EU need to compromise in the interests of Northern Ireland.
“That won’t be easy, but it is an absolute necessity that the UK and the EU should now work together urgently to identify solutions if Northern Ireland is not to become a permanent casualty of the Brexit process.”
Now furious Britons have launched a blistering attack against the EU as the latest in a long line of Brexit rows threatens to spiral out of control.
Reacting to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader fumed: “The EU had their chance, and they blew it.
“They thought that the UK would act like one of their timid states, how wrong were they.
“Now rather than just suffering from the loss of our donations, the beggars will also lose their access to the UK market.
“The world’s fifth-largest economy has had enough and will take its business elsewhere.”
A second person raged: “It’s not intransigence it is arrogance. They still believe if they tear the UK apart, then we will go snivelling back to them.
“They still don’t see the way the EU has behaved has made Brexiters out of Remainers.”
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Another reader added: “The only reason they are saying this is because they see that the EU is, as usual, falling into the trap of intransigence – which will show the world that they are causing the problems.
“When we trigger Article 16, no one will be surprised.”
Last week, the UK’s Brexit minister Lord Frost unveiled a number of proposals which he hopes will ease problems caused by the Protocol.
They include being more lenient in its enforcement of customs checks, scrapping requirements for Northern Ireland goods to meet EU laws if they comply with British legislation, and agreeing to remove the European Court of Justice as the arbitrator of the Protocol.
In a bitter blow to those proposals, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The EU will continue to be creative and flexible within the Protocol framework. But we will not renegotiate.”
But on Wednesday, the bloc appeared to change its tone slightly on the matter, with a spokeswoman commenting: “The Commission will carefully assess the new proposals made by the UK, in accordance with the necessary consultation procedures, both internally, and with the European Parliament.”
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