‘This isn’t democratic!’ Lord Frost criticizes the EU’s proposals for a Brexit protocol. ‘Be adaptable!’
LORD FROST has slammed EU demands on the Brexit protocol as “undemocratic,” urging the Commission to “be flexible!”
During a grilling on Sky News, Lord Forst blasted the EU’s negotiating position on the Northern Ireland protocol as “undemocratic.” The former UK senior Brexit negotiator spoke ahead of the official EU response to the UK’s demand that the thorny Brexit protocol be discarded and totally rewritten after only two years. Both sides must engage in a “intense discussions process,” according to Lord Frost. “We will work extremely hard for it,” Lord Frost told Sky News. “The problem we have in Northern Ireland is that the Northern Ireland Protocol is undermining, not supporting, the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and we’ve put forth recommendations to remedy that,” he continued.
“We’re expecting EU suggestions today, and we’ll obviously examine them carefully and positively.” We now need to engage in a lengthy discussion process in order to get a consensus that everyone can support. That’s what we’re hoping for.” Lord Frost went on to call the EU Commission’s attitude “undemocratic” and emphasized the importance of Brussels being “flexible” in order to reach an agreement.
“The difficulty with the protocol right now is that EU law, with the ECJ as its enforcer, is being imposed in Northern Ireland without any kind of democratic process,” he said.
“I believe that needs to change. If we can come up with governance structures that people can live with, and the protocol has genuine community support in Northern Ireland.
“In Northern Ireland, we need to establish solutions that work to maintain the Good Friday Agreement in all of its dimensions – east-west, north-south.”
“We’re asking everyone to be flexible, make concessions, and take a fresh look at things in order to work within this extremely delicate, sensitive political position.”
Lord Frost said the current deal was not working and that substantial change was required if it was to survive in a speech to diplomats in Lisbon.
If that could not be reached, he said the UK was prepared to invoke Article 16 of the protocol, which empowers either side to override major parts of the accord.
“This government, the United Kingdom government, administers Northern Ireland, just as it governs the rest of the United Kingdom.”