Frost calls for immediate bonfire of EU rules – UK officials to ‘stop thinking like bloc’
Lord Frost urges EU to 'tone down language' towards UK
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The Cabinet Office Minister also told MPs on the European Scrutiny Committee that a return to UK common law was needed. Addressing MPs, he said to achieve this, the UK Government needed to “normalise” EU law which was still enshrined in UK legislation.
Speaking last night, Lord Frost added: “Lots of our bureaucracy and our regulatory systems have had to operate within a prescriptive EU law framework.
“We have internalised principles of EU law and EU ways of thinking about things for the last 50 years, which is harder to eradicate because it’s quite subtle.”
Lord Frost also stressed breaking away from the EU’s “regulatory orbit” was one of the key gains from leaving the bloc and vowed to pursue changes that were consistent with the deregulatory “spirit of Brexit”.
He continued: “One of the advantages we will get from Brexit is the opportunity to do things differently, that’s clear.
“I don’t think we should accept that we are in the EU’s regulatory orbit for these purposes, we do need to develop our own ways of doing things and our own philosophy behind it.”
The Tory peer stressed to MPs the ability to diverge from EU regulations would be one of the big prizes of leaving the bloc but he acknowledged this could cause further difficulties over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He also told the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee the relationship with Brussels “will be a bit bumpy for a time but there is a lot of business to be done” following the conclusion of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and EU.
The Tory peer also revealed officials had begun the process of creating a task force that would look at how Brexit Britain could be given a global competitive edge by diverging from certain EU rules.
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Lord Frost continued: “I have a role in making sure that what we put before Parliament is genuinely reforming, genuinely consistent with deregulation and the spirit of Brexit and goes forward on that basis.
“I personally profoundly believe that it’s a huge advantage to a country to have the control over its own laws and the ability to design arrangements that suit its own traditions and ways of doing things.”
It comes following a tense row with Brussels over the Northern Ireland Protocol which was designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland under the Withdrawal Agreement.
But it has angered unionists by effectively creating a barrier for the supply of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
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Under the deal, Northern Ireland is tied to a range of EU customs and regulatory rules, while the rest of the UK is intent on diverging from Brussels’ terms.
Lord Frost said businesses in Great Britain were having more problems than anticipated moving goods into Northern Ireland which was having “a bigger chilling effect than we thought”.
Addressing MP’s, he concluded: “Our assessment of the situation, or my assessment anyway, is that businesses and a good proportion of society in Northern Ireland feel anxious about the effects of the boundary – the trade boundary – between GB and Northern Ireland.”
Negotiations are ongoing with the bloc to find a solution to the implementation of the Protocol.
Responding to Lord Frost’s comments, a European Commission spokesman said: “We will continue with this engagement in order to find solutions.
“The various unhelpful comments in the press will not prevent us from doing so.”
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