‘Absolutely outrageous!’ Brexiteer erupts at ‘malevolent’ EU – Frost urged to stand firm
Lord Frost reveals ‘difficulty’ with Protocol
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Mr Carswell, who represented both the Conservatives and Ukip during the course of his Parliamentary career, is now the CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy in the States – but keeps close tabs on UK politics from across the Atlantic. And speaking in the wake of Lord Frost’s remarks in the House of Lords on Wednesday, Mr Carswell backed the Brexit minister’s decision not to trigger Article 16, despite having urged Brussels to agree to renegotiate the rules from transporting goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Protocol is the mechanism agreed between the UK and the EU with the intention of preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.
However, critics, especially those in the Unionist community, claim it has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea which is cutting Northern Ireland off from the rest of the United Kingdom.
The bloc rapidly rejected Lord Frost’s suggestion, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen taking to Twitter to insist “we will not renegotiate”.
The former MP for Clacton told Express.co.uk: “Clearly the EU is being unreasonable. And clearly, a mistake the British Government made was to believe that we could count on the EU’s goodwill.
“But by any objective measure it can’t be in the interests of the European Union, to make this relatively small technocratic issue.”
He explained: “What we are talking about is the theoretical possibility that goods made in Britain would be shipped to Northern Ireland, and transported into the Irish Republic, and that this would somehow violate the sanctity of the single European market.
“This is a small theoretical possibility, and it can be addressed in all sorts of in all sorts of ways that don’t require Northern Ireland to conform with EU regulatory standards.”
Turning his attention to the bloc’s motives for its current hardline stance, Mr Carswell said: “The fact that the EU is using this and using this the way they are, I think, shows a malevolence by the EU and and unreasonableness.
“But I think Lord Frost is absolutely right, you know – we, we are the good guys in this, we are behaving entirely reasonably.
“The behaviour of the EU is absolutely outrageous, but we know that we need to we need to give them every opportunity to behave reasonably.
“Because we need if we need the wider world to understand that the EU is asking for something totally unreasonable.
“At the moment, people around the world might be inclined to think it’s six of one half dozen the other and it’s a squabble between two sides.
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“What the British Government is sensibly doing is behaving in a way so it’s absolutely clear that we are behaving, morally correctly and that the EU is behaving belligerently, obnoxiously and aggressively.
“And so I think Frost is doing it absolutely right, just being reasonable and patient.
“If the EU had any sense they would recognise that our patients is not a sign of weakness – on the contrary, it’s a sign of our resolution and determination.”
Speaking on Wednesday as he unveiled his 28-page command paper on the subject, Lord Frost told peers: “Putting simply, we cannot go on.
“We have seen reductions in supermarket product lines, we have seen 200 suppliers decide they would no longer sell to Northern Ireland.
“We have seen difficulties not just on the famous chilled meats issue but on medicines, on pets, on movements of live animals, on seeds, on plants and on many others.”
He added: “It is clear that the circumstances exist to justify the use of Article 16.
“Nevertheless, we have concluded it is not the right moment to do so.
“Instead, we see an opportunity to proceed differently, to find a new path, to seek to agree with the EU through negotiations a new balance in our arrangements covering Northern Ireland to the benefit of all.”
Following a conversation with the Prime Minister yesterday, Ms von der Leyen tweeted: “@BorisJohnson called to present the UK Command paper on the Irish/Northern Irish Protocol.
“The EU will continue to be creative and flexible within the Protocol framework. But we will not renegotiate.
“We must jointly ensure stability and predictability in Northern Ireland.”
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