The Republic of Ireland has accused the UK of “turning the rules of the game” away from solutions in talks to resolve post-Brexit trade tensions in Northern Ireland.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Boris Johnson’s government had “rejected” EU proposals to ease trade concerns even before they were released.
In a deep row with Brexit Secretary Lord David Frost, Coveney also said it was ‘a bit rich’ for the British negotiator to accuse him of causing trouble on Twitter.
“When the EU comes up with new ideas and proposals to try to solve problems, they are rejected before they are published – and this is happening again this week,” Coveney told RTE on Monday.
He added: “David Frost is accusing me of raising issues on social media. It’s a bit rich, quite frankly, because it effectively tells the British media by saying, “Okay, the EU can make the changes it needs, but really it’s not enough, we want more.”
Lord Frost released excerpts from a speech he was due to give in Lisbon on Tuesday, in which he said the European Court of Justice had created a “deep flaw” in the work of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The European Commission, which has already flatly rejected the UK’s call to end the role of the European Court of Justice – since the deal was in the deal the UK signed – will release proposals later this week to facilitate trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Coveney said the measures would be “extremely far-reaching” and condemned the UK for trying to put new obstacles in the way of a compromise over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“The truth is that they know that the EU cannot move forward on this issue (the role of the European Court of Justice), but they are always asking … at some point the EU will say enough, we cannot make more concessions and I think we are very close to that point right Now.
The Irish foreign minister added: “This is seen across the EU as the same pattern over and over – the EU is trying to solve problems, while the UK is rejecting solutions before they are available. And they are being propagated and more being asked.”
It comes after an angry Twitter spat between Coveney and Lord Frost on Sunday. The Irish foreign minister questioned whether British ministers “really want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations?”
Lord Frost responded to Mr Coveney, saying the ECJ case was “not new”, adding: “The problem is that few people seem to have listened. I would prefer not to negotiate via Twitter.” “
Official European Commission proposals on protocol issues – due for release on Wednesday – will include an exception for “food products with national identity”, allowing sausages and other meat products to enter NI from Great Britain. Brittany after the end of grace periods, according to Policy.
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said last week that “99.9%” of the talks he had on his recent trip to Northern Ireland were about issues related to customs controls, food and plant safety and the supply of medicines from Great Britain.
The EU President stated that the CJEC was only mentioned once and neither by business nor civil society.
Mr Sefcovic’s view has been emphasized by Mr Coveney and politicians from Northern Ireland’s Irish nationalist parties Sinn Fein and the SDLP, as well as the Cross Community Alliance party.
But the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has threatened to quit the region’s power-sharing government unless major changes are made to the protocol, and has expressed concerns about the European Court of Justice – saying it favors a new form of independent arbitration process.
However, DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson praised what he described as a “change of tone on the part of the EU” and told the BBC he would judge the proposals coming up in the round.
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