Brexit: Bill Cash quizzes Lewis on UK's Northern Ireland stance
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As the Brexit minister tried yet again to appease the EU, one Brexiteer attacked Brussels over its behaviour. Since Brexit, Sir John Redwood Tory MP for Wokingham accused the EU of attempting to take the UK back into membership of the bloc. With the UK being punished by the Northern Ireland protocol, Sir John warned the EU has taken an “unfair” interpretation of the procedure.
Writing in his personal blog, Sir John said: “Since the UK left the EU and its single market the EU has gone out of its way to try to drag the UK back into membership by its excessive and unfair interpretation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”
Following Lord Frost’s proposal on Wednesday, Sir John warned the UK as a whole has been too tolerant of the bloc.
He added: “France has taken UK money to assist in stemming the people smuggling across the Channel but delivered limited results.
“The EU as a whole keeps sending large bills which it claims we still owe even though we are no longer members and no longer receive any money back from their general budget.
“Many other countries around the world have found it difficult or impossible to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU.
“The UK has been too tolerant of EU behaviour, and needs to be more independent to deliver the Brexit the majority voted for.”
The Northern Ireland protocol has caused significant disruption to trade as the state is left within the EU’s single market.
Despite also being part of the UK customs union, checks on goods must be applied for products moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
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Ahead of the summer recess, Lord Frost set out a plan to create a better balance within the protocol.
Despite EU fears, Lord Frost insisted the UK is not attempting to sweep away the protocol but make alterations.
As set out in the Government’s command paper, the UK proposed increased arrangements over data sharing between the two.
The UK has also called for increased penalties for those moving products from Northern Ireland to Ireland and the streamlining of trade at ports and airports.
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The new proposal would also include a dual regulatory system that would allow goods to circulate in Northern Ireland if they comply with either UK or EU standards.
Lord Frost also called on the end of the role of the European Court of Justice in enforcing the protocol.
He told peers: “The difficulties we have in operating the Northern Ireland protocol are now the main obstacle to building a relationship with the EU.
“We concluded that it is not the right moment to do so.”
Despite his calls for compromise, Maros Sefcovic vice-president of the EU Commission refused to renegotiate the protocol.
He insisted the protocol must be implemented as it was agreed by both sides.
In a statement, he said: “The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland is the joint solution that the EU found with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Lord David Frost – and was ratified by the UK Parliament – to address the unique challenges that Brexit, and the type of Brexit chosen by the British government, poses for the island of Ireland.
“Its aim is to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its parts, maintain peace and stability in Northern Ireland, avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, while preserving the integrity of the EU Single Market.
“In order for these objectives to be achieved, the Protocol must be implemented.
“Respecting international legal obligations is of paramount importance.”
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