UK’s vice-president of EU accuses UK that it wants a ‘path to confrontation’ over Ulster negotiations. This is after Lord Frost stated that Brussels was ‘destroying cross community consent’ over enforcement for the Northern Ireland protocol.

  • European Commission VP Maros Sefcovic made the accusation yesterday
  • He warned the UK to avoid ‘entering on a pathway of confrontation’ during the talks
  • Lord Frost, Brexit chief, stated that the EU has “destroyed cross-community consensus”.
  • He believes that the EU’s strict enforcement of the Northern Ireland protocol is starting to be unacceptable. The Good Friday Agreement is being damaged 
  • It comes hours after Boris Johnson claimed that France is violating the “spirit and the letter” of the Brexit agreement in his latest jab about post-Brexit fishing right rights 

Brussels accused the UK of seeking a path of confrontation over Northern Ireland, and fishing rights in the post Brexit era.

Maros Sefcovic, vice president of the European Commission, yesterday urged Lord Frost from the UK to reconsider EU proposals to lower checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland.

He stated that he was increasingly concerned that the UK Government would refuse to engage with the issue and instead pursue a path of confrontation. 

Lord Frost meanwhile has claimed the EU has ‘destroyed cross-community consent’ with its overly strict enforcement of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which he believes is beginning to damage the Good Friday Agreement.

These accusations are made at the beginning of a week-long period of new negotiations that will culminate in a meeting between Frost and Sefcovic on Friday. 

It comes as Emmanuel Macron declared that France will place port and border blocks on British ships starting Tuesday unless Boris Johnson is willing to end their bitter row over post Brexit fishing. 

Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic urged the UK's Brext chief Lord Frost to reconsider the EU's proposals to reduce checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland

Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of European Commission, urged Lord Frost, the UK’s Brext chief to reconsider EU’s proposal to reduce checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland.

Last month the UK and the EU put forward proposals to address the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was negotiated by Lord Frost. Frost has since accused the EU of 'destroying cross-community consent' by harshly enforcing the protocol

Last month, the UK proposed to the EU proposals to address the dispute regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol. This protocol was negotiated by Lord Frost. Frost has since accused EU of ‘destroying cross community consent’ by applying the protocol with harshness

The Northern Ireland Protocol was created to avoid a hard frontier by keeping Northern Ireland within the EU’s single markets.  

Unionists want it to be scrapped because of the trade barriers it has placed on products crossing the Irish Sea. 

Sefcovic, EU’s chief negotiator, stated that talks over the protocol were at risk because the EU has only compromised its position so far.

He stated that the EU’s package offering enhanced opportunities starting in October has been a significant step forward. However, we also have our limits. We must protect the integrity and interests of the EU’s Single Market as well as the 27 member states.

Lord Frost stated that Brussels is not paying attention to the ‘huge political, economic, and identity sensibilities’ in Northern Ireland in a Policy Exchange paper.

He stated that the EU’s operation on the Protocol had’started to damage the thing it was meant to protect – The Belfast Good Friday Agreement’.

He wrote that the EU’s insistence on treating these arrangements like any other part its customs or single market rules has destroyed cross-community consensus well before the four year mark.

“We also have the experience of aspects that are simply insurmountable over the long-term for any Government responsible to the lives of its citizens. This includes having to negotiate with third parties about the distribution and use of medicines within the NHS.

“That is why we must go back to the Protocol, and produce a stronger and more balanced outcome than what we could in 2019. I hope that the EU will eventually join us in this endeavor.

The Brexit chief said the protocol is beginning to damage the Good Friday Agreement despite being designed to protect it

The Brexit chief claimed that the protocol is beginning damage to the Good Friday Agreement, despite being designed for its protection

The accusation from the EU comes as Emmanuel Macron announced France will introduce border and port blocks on British ships from Tuesday unless Boris Johnson is prepared to stand down in their bitter row over post-Brexit fishing.

The EU accusation came as Emmanuel Macron announced that France would place border and port restrictions on British ships starting Tuesday unless Boris Johnson agrees to end their bitter row over post Brexit fishing.

Last month, the UK proposed to the EU proposals to address the dispute regarding the Protocol, which was negotiated in part by Lord Frost.

The Policy Exchange paper – The Northern Ireland Protocol : The Origins and Current Crisis, Roderick Crawford – provides a chronology for Brexit negotiations and what went wrong during 2017.

It argues that while the 2017 joint rapport was a ‘diplomatic triumph for Ireland’ and the (European Commission), it failed to secure sufficient reciprocal concessions for the UK.

Mr Crawford claims that the UK was bound by the joint report, and that it led to a flawed draft withdrawal agreement for February 2018, and subsequently to the November 2018 Withdrawal Agreement.

According to the paper, this led to the fall in Theresa May’s government and ‘tied’ the hands of Boris Johnson’s new Government that year as it renegotiated terms of Brexit.

‘The ball’ is in Britain’s Court’: Macron warns France it will retaliate Tuesday with border and ports blocks unless Boris Johnson backs off in bitter fishing rights standoff – after PM DENIES claims he reached a deal in a ‘frank, one-on-one’ showdown at G20 

Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron warned France that it will retaliate against Britain if Britain does not back down in the row over fishing – after Boris Johnson denied that they had reached a settlement.

The French president said that unless the UK shifts reprisals, it will happen within days. 

Following Mr Johnson’s briefing to journalists, he stated that the UK’s stance was unchanged at the G20 summit in Rome.  

Boris Johnson stated that he was “puzzled” by a French prime minister Jean Castex’s letter to Ursula von der Leyen. In which Mr Castex claimed that the UK does more damage to leave than to stay in the EU, he said that he was being “puzzled”.

Johnson stated that the G20 position on fish was unchanged at a press conference. For the record, I’ll only say this. I must confess that I was puzzled when I read a letter from France’s Prime Minister asking for Britain to be punished for leaving EU.

“I just want to say to everyone that I don’t believe that this is compatible either with both the spirit or letter of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation agreement. That’s probably all that I’ll say about it.”

But Mr Macron said that Britain is the one who has to move.

Emmanuel Macron insisted that unless the UK shifted reprisals will happen within days, saying 'the ball is in Britain's court'.

At a press conference at the end of the G20 summit in Rome, Boris Johnson insisted his 'position is unchanged' after speaking with Mr Macron for more than 30 minutes on the margins

After speaking for more than 30 minutes with Mr Macron, Boris Johnson maintained his ‘position unchanged’ at a press conference held at the conclusion of the G20 summit in Rome.