Nigel Farage clashes with Insulate Britain supporter on GB News
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Speaking on GB News earlier this week, the former Brexit Party leader accused the EU of having “weaponised” the nation against the UK. He claimed it “risks the troubles coming back” as it “contradicts” the Good Friday Agreement.
The former UKIP leader added it had only been intended by the Government as a temporary fix, and that it was now time to “do something”.
His comments come as there are growing fears concerning the stability of peace on the island of Ireland due to the political impact the deal is having.
Last week’s regional elections saw nationalists Sinn Fein oust the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) as the largest party in Northern Ireland’s legislative assembly.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said he will not agree to form a power-sharing executive – which requires the consent of both the largest nationalist and unionist parties – until “decisive action” was taken on the Protocol.
On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned her negotiating counterpart for the EU, Maros Sefcovic, that unless the EU showed “flexibility” in talks, she would have “no choice but to act”.
The EU published a series of concessions it was willing to make in October last year, which have formed the basis for renegotiations of the Protocol.
Ms Truss said her “overriding priority” was to protect peace and stability in Northern Ireland, and that the Protocol was “the greatest obstacle” to forming a new executive.
The Foreign Office said Mr Sefcovic had repeated his claim that he had “no room to expand the EU negotiating mandate or introduce new proposals”.
Speaking last night, Mr Farage said: “Let’s be honest, this is a problem of Boris Johnson’s own making.
“There were some of us in 2019 saying this is not a good deal that effectively we’ll annex a part of the United Kingdom, which is what we’ve done. The European Union weaponised Northern Ireland from anyone in the negotiations.
“I had Lord Frost [the former Brexit Secretary] on my programme the other evening. He basically said: ‘Look, we were at a total impasse, we had to do something. We took the decision with Northern Ireland that we’ll sort the mess out later.’
“Alright fine, we did end the impasse thank goodness the years of agony we were going through as a country but now is the time to do something.”
He added: “What’s the risk? The risk is a trade war with the EU but then anyway the free trade deal is rubbish. You try to import a case of wine from Italy, you’ll find all sorts of charges and delays.”
Reacting to his remarks on the Express.co.uk website, Stevie012 commented: “Invoke Article 16 immediately.
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“No more talking, get the EU out of Northern Ireland and reinstate the border just like other countries have.
“All this nonsense about the Good Friday Agreement is just bluster; if you don’t do it you’re just selling our British citizens in Northern Ireland down the river.
“Before you know it, the next thing will be a push for a united Ireland, then the real trouble begins.
BobPage said: “As usual Nigel Farage is quite correct; it’s clear that the Northern Ireland Protocol cannot stand if the Good Friday Agreement is to be honoured.
“No doubt the EU hate the thought of a British sausage more than the thought of a return to violence in Northern Ireland.”
Littleislander wrote: “It was never imagined the Protocol would last ad infinitum, which is why there are mechanisms within the Protocol to make changes. It’s just that the EU are refusing to discuss or make the necessary changes.
“That’s up to them. They can either play a part in fixing the problems or use the Protocol as a weapon against the UK. We now know their intentions.
“In order to protect the good Friday agreement and prevent a return to violence in Ireland the UK are left with no choice and have to unilaterally make changes.
“It’s not a case of the UK reneging on an agreement as Remoaners and the EU would have everyone believe, but a necessary action given the EU’s refusal to play ball.”
However, not all were commendatory of Mr Farage’s comments. Several users pointed to the fact that parties in favour of the Protocol, with changes, are now a majority in Stormont.
Cornwall123 said: “The majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly don’t hate it. Johnson doesn’t hate it; he signed it.”
Meanwhile, Mac asked: “Do Farage and Donaldson think that shedding the Northern Ireland Protocol will have cross-community support?”
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