Brexit: Lord Frost hits out at EU over Northern Ireland Protocol
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The US’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee previously stated that “threats to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol will harm the people of Northern Ireland.” The committee implored the UK to “respect the Protocol” and “protect the Good Friday Agreement” and added, “a US-UK trade deal is simply not possible if either the protocol or GFA is rolled back”.
A US-UK trade agreement has been a “priority” for the UK in post-Brexit relationships, but the US has expressed reticence to push such a deal through ahead of one with the EU.
This comes after Brexit Minister, Lord Frost, threatened to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol after talks yielded little progress between the UK and the EU.
Nile Gardiner, former aide to Margaret Thatcher, told his nearly 17,000 followers of the Committee’s statement: “The arrogance on display here is staggering.
“Who do Senate Democrats think they are telling the British people what to do over the N. Ireland Protocol?
“Brexit is a reality.
“The UK is free of the shackles of the EU.
“The US Left need to accept this and mind their own business.”
This follows a statement released on the US Government’s Foreign Affairs Committee website, in which they responded to “the United Kingdom’s threats to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol of the EU withdrawal agreement.”
The press release read: “The Northern Ireland Protocol was a significant achievement during the volatile Brexit process, and its full implementation is critical for ensuring Brexit doesn’t undermine decades of progress toward peace on the island of Ireland.
“The Good Friday Agreement and broader peace process took patience and time to build, with good faith contributions from the communities in Northern Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and others.
“However, peace can unravel quickly.
“In threatening to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the United Kingdom threatens to not only destabilise trade relations but also that hard-earned peace.
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“We call on the UK to abandon this dangerous path, and to commit to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol in full.”
Brexit Secretary, Lord David Frost, had previously warned the EU that triggering Article 16 could be the “only option” if talks continued to stall.
Addressing the House of Lords, he urged EU negotiators to “stay calm and keep things in proportion.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has backed up the words of Lord Frost, calling Article 16 a “safety mechanism” in any potential trade war with the EU.
The EU hit back at the looming possibility of suspending the Northern Ireland Protocol, with EU Commission Vice-President, Maros Sefcovic, saying last week: “Let there be no doubt that triggering Article 16 – to seek the renegotiation of the Protocol – would have serious consequences.”
The US had previously waded into the heated NI Protocol debate as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told her over 660,000 Twitter followers that the US President agreed with the EU over Article 16.
After a visit to the White House, Ms von der Leyen posted: “President Biden and I agreed on the need to preserve peace and stability on the island of Ireland.
“We agree that the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol should be implemented.”
She told reporters in Washington the EU had shown the “utmost flexibility within the Protocol, but it is important to stick to what we have agreed and signed together”.
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