I’m still baffled! Frost rages as the EU ‘drops’ 800 new Brexit rules on the United Kingdom with little warning.
According to Cabinet Office officials, Brussels slammed more than 800 new regulations on Northern Ireland without warning, a move slammed by a top minister.
Lord Frost, a Brexit minister, told peers that the development demonstrated the European Union’s failure to take “seriously” the fact that it was establishing laws “for another territory” following Brexit. The comments came after the Cabinet Office received word from Brussels that the bloc had implemented more than 600 new regulations affecting Northern Ireland in the last three months, with another 200 on the way. The Northern Ireland Protocol aims to preserve Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods, avoiding a hard border with Ireland.
To the chagrin of Unionists, the measure means the area would continue to obey Brussels laws while having no vote in them.
The Joint Consultative Working Group was established as part of the UK’s divorce agreement with the EU to provide Northern Ireland firms with advanced notice of regulatory changes relating to the Protocol.
On Wednesday, peers on the Lords Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee were told that the EU had sent the working group an unannounced list of 800 new regulations, with over 600 previously adopted by Brussels.
Rebecca Ellis, director of the Cabinet Office’s Northern Ireland/Ireland Unit, said efforts to ensure the working group was given advance notice of changes “still aren’t there.”
“Last Thursday, we had a ‘drop’ of new measures that contained a list of over 800 measures, I believe 666 of which had already been adopted,” the official stated.
“And in many ways, the material presented was identical to what could be found in the official journal.”
When Conservative peer Lord Hannon highlighted the issue later, Lord Frost confirmed the details, calling it a “problem” in the current system.
“Obviously, the Joint Consultative Working Group is supposed to provide us advance notice – if all it does is offer us what’s in the official journal in a different format, then it’s not really worth it,” he said.
“It needs to give some kind of upstream warning, and I think the way it’s working right now is a bit suggestive of – how should I say it?” Brinkwire Summary News”.