Lord Frost calls EU’s bluff – predicts when Brussels will crack on Brexit NI protocol row

Lord Frost says negotiations will happen 'soon' with EU

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Lord David Frost, speaking at the Conservative conference on Monday insisted the UK and EU needed to find ways to resolve the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol problems. After a question from Tory MP Owen Paterson, Lord Frost said the EU has done things it said it would never do during the Brexit negotiations and this fills him with confidence. He also added that in just over a month the UK could finally know whether the N.I protocol issues can be resolved with the EU.

Mr Paterson said: “Could you possibly elaborate a little bit more.

“You said this morning that you would be sending new legal texts.

“I was in Northern Ireland last week and virtually everyone I spoke to are convinced that the criteria for triggering Article 16 have been met.

“Can you give us a bit more information on the timing and when you are thinking of triggering Article 16?”

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Lord Frost insisted the UK needed to move forward urgently and find a resolution to the issue surrounding the Northern Ireland protocol.

He replied: “We need to move forward urgently now.

“It has already been a little slow and we have given the EU a lot of time knowing what kind of organisation it is.

“It takes time to think about stuff, that is just the way it is, unfortunately.”

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Lord Frost then explained why he was confident the EU’s stance could be shifted a little on the issue of Northern Ireland.

He said: “We have to move rapidly now, I expect to get an answer from them in the next 10 days or so.

“We will then need a short and intensive period of negotiations, when I say short I am saying weeks, three weeks, that sort of period.

“After that, we will know, we will know whether it is possible to bridge this gap.

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“I am not totally pessimistic about the ability to bridge the gap.

“My history of the last 18 months is the EU saying they would not do a lot of things that in the end, it did.

“I think we need to get into a process, it needs to be a real one.

“That is my sort of timescale, things have got to happen this autumn before too long.”

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