EU 'trying' to make Britain 'lose Northern Ireland' says expert
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Earlier on Wednesday, Lord Frost insisted the UK and the EU “cannot go on as we are” with the current Northern Ireland Protocol arrangements. Baron Adonis, Labour member of the House of Lords, blasted his peer’s calls to shake up the Protocol and has called for the Brexit deal to be renegotiated.
Posting on his Twitter, Baron Adonis said: “Lord Frost just announced to the House of Lords that the Northern Ireland Protocol, which he and Johnson negotiated, is unworkable and the Government wants to renegotiate it fundamentally.
“So Johnson’s Brexit deal is already collapsing. Time to renegotiate the whole thing”
Also on Twitter, Baron Adonis said: “Frost just told Lords that he knew the Northern Ireland Protocol “might well cause problems” – but agreed it anyway.
“What a deplorable fiasco.”
READ MORE: ‘If not now, when?’ Why Frost can’t justify not triggering Article 16
It marks a change of tone from the pro-EU politician, who previously has called for Britain to rejoin the bloc.
In the Lords on Monday, Baron Adonis jokingly said he is thinking of applying to head the Government’s new Brexit Opportunities Unit as it would offer the chance to rejoin the EU.
In response to former Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings’ BBC interview on Tuesday, the Labour peer said: “If Cummings doesn’t believe Brexit is definitely a good idea, and Johnson was on the fence until recruited by Cummings, why are we doing it rather than asking the British public whether they really want it?”
He also said: “Cummings interview will be seen as a key moment in reversing Brexit.
“He didn’t even mean it and doesn’t any longer support the puppet leader he got to do it.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Lord Frost announced the UK Government is looking to make “significant changes” to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Brexit minister unveiled proposals he said will bring a “new balance” to the Protocol, and will ensure “goods circulate much more freely within the UK customs territory while ensuring that full processes are applied to goods destined for the EU”.
Lord Frost also admitted the burdens imposed by the mechanism “have been a source of considerable and ongoing disruption to lives and livelihoods”.
In a threat to the EU, he said “it is clear that the circumstances exist to justify the use of Article 16”, but he also stressed “it is not the right moment to do so”.
Article 16 enables either the UK or the EU to suspend part of the Protocol in extreme circumstances, which the bloc did in January over a shortfall in AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine deliveries.
The EU overturned the use of the article within hours after outrage from Ireland and the UK.
The EU has ruled out renegotiation of the Protocol, with Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič refusing to reopen talks.
In a statement, he said: “We will continue to engage with the UK, also on the suggestions made today.
“We are ready to continue to seek creative solutions, within the framework of the Protocol, in the interest of all communities in Northern Ireland.
“However, we will not agree to a renegotiation of the Protocol.”
The EU official added: “We must prioritise stability and predictability in Northern Ireland.”
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