THE European Union said on Monday that removing the oversight of the bloc’s top court from the UK’s Brexit deal in parts governing trade on the island of Ireland would effectively cut Northern Ireland off from the European market.
A European Commission spokesman told a news conference: “Our focus should be on those issues that matter the most to the people of Northern Ireland and not on requests such as removing the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). “Doing this would effectively mean cutting Northern Ireland off from the EU’s single market and related opportunities.”
On Saturday, British Brexit negotiator David Frost released extracts of a speech due this week, reiterating London’s long-standing demand to remove any governing role of the ECJ from the EU-UK agreement regulating their new ties after Brexit.
The Commission said it would unveil this week concrete proposals to ease controls on trade coming from Northern Ireland to EU member state Ireland, but that they would not deviate fundamentally from the Brexit deal in place.
Downing Street has said that changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement are essential if it is to survive.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the UK had signed up to the protocol in “good faith” but the way it was being operated by the EU was unsustainable.
“It was formed in the spirit of compromise in challenging circumstances.
“Since then we have seen how the EU is inclined to operate the governance arrangements, issuing infraction proceeding against the UK at the first sign of disagreement,” the spokesman said.
“These arrangements aren’t sustainable, we need to find a new way of resolving issues that arise between us using mechanisms normal in other international treaties.
“It is unheard of for bilateral agreements being policed by the courts of one of the parties.”
But Ireland’s foreign affairs minister has accused the UK Government of dismissing EU solutions to the Northern Ireland Protocol before they are published.
Simon Coveney also accused the British Government of “shifting the playing field” away from solving issues around the controversial protocol.
He made the comments in response to the Brexit minister’s demand to drop the role of the European Court of Justice from the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Lord Frost is to give a speech on Tuesday, in which he will make removing the role of. “Brinkwire Summary News”.