‘EU didn’t create this mess!’ Irish MP savages Britain’s demands to scrap Brexit protocol

Northern Ireland senator slams UK over Brexit protocol

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A member of the Irish Parlament has lashed out at Boris Johnson’s Government over Britain’s attempts to manufacture an alternative to the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol, against the wishes of the European Union and the Irish Government. Neale Richmond TD, the European Affairs spokesman for Fine Gael, has been a vocal critic of Brexit and used a recent address to blast the UK’s demands for Protocol reform. 

Mr Richmond told fellow TDs: “We hear how everything has to come back to the changing of the EU’s existing mandate.

“Now I keep forgetting back to the referendum campaign, it’s so long ago when we’ve gone through the ideas so many times over and over again, but I am pretty sure the EU didn’t come up with Brexit.

“I’m pretty sure that EU didn’t create this mess that has occupied the hearts and minds of far too many people and caused chaos on this island for over six years.

“But yet it’s always the EU that has changed position.

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“It’s always the EU’s mandate that’s brought into question.

“It’s never the fact that we have a British Government that has consistently gone from winning a referendum 52 percent to 48 percent, talking about never leaving the single market that was the words of the current Prime Minister himself to going to the hardest possible Brexit.

“But no, no it all comes back to the EU.

“And without changes to this mandate, we cannot fix the problems, of course, we can fix the problems, but yet this British Government runs away from the most obvious solution of an EU UK SBS veterinary agreement because of course it always comes back to the EU because it has nothing to do with Brexit the responsibilities thereof.”

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The Fine Gael politician’s intervention comes as the Protocol row threatens to push powersharing at Stormont to the brink in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s main unionist party the DUP has refused to re-establish a devolved executive following the recent election in protest at arrangements that have created economic barriers to trade with the rest of Great Britain.

Many unionists and loyalists are vehemently opposed to the protocol, claiming its requirement for checks on goods moving across the Irish Sea has undermined Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom.

The DUP has so far blocked the election of a speaker and the formation of an Executive as part of its protest against the Protocol.

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Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill said it was important that the Northern Ireland Assembly meets to “get down to business” and starts delivering for the public, but DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has branded the recall motion from Sinn Fein as a “stunt”.

Sir Jeffrey said: “When you consider that for three long years, and on a number of occasions during that period when this Assembly was recalled to elect a speaker, that Sinn Fein on each occasion absented themselves from those proceedings.

“Most people out there will take with a pinch of salt Sinn Fein’s new-found determination to restore working institutions that they abandoned for three years.

“And if they think that pulling a stunt like this next Monday is going to change things then they really don’t understand unionism and our determination to stand our ground until we get the decisive action that is required to move us all forward.”

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