Brexit LIVE: Boris told to forget renegotiating with EU – just scrap 'one-sided' deal


    The Prime Minister is continuing to engage with the EU over the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol and this week called for “practical solutions” to the ongoing trade row. Brexit minister Lord Frost is leading talks with Brussels and has so far resisted the temptation to trigger emergency legislation and suspend the treaty.

    Daniel Hannan, a former Tory MEP for South East England, has described discussions over the Irish border between the two sides as “dialogue of the deaf”.

    The Protocol was created to protect the Good Friday Agreement and prevent a hard border, but this has angered Unionists as it ties Belfast to the EU regulatory framework and effectively erected a trade barrier down the Irish Sea.

    Mr Hannan insisted it is not a simple shootout between the Protocol or upholding political order in Ulster as there are “self-correction mechanisms”, but he stated if it were a choice between the two it “would be an act of shocking dereliction to stick with the treaty”.

    Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he pointed out the UK has three options, they include repudiating the Protocol completely, suspending parts of it or renegotiating with Brussels.

    He wrote: “The first option is the most drastic, but also the cleanest. The Northern Ireland Protocol is an unequal treaty, a product of the Benn Act and other parliamentary manoeuvres designed to weaken Britain.

    “It is not just one-sided; it is deliberately designed to show that withdrawal carries a terrible price.”

    Mr Hannan acknowledged the second option to trigger Article 16 “is more limited” as the UK would need to clearly demonstrate a number of issues with the Protocol.

    The UK has attempted to renegotiate with the EU this week, with an emphasis on keeping the land border open and limiting the number of checks on goods at risk on entering EU markets.

    EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has already knocked the proposal back and insisted Brussels will “be creative and flexible” over the Protocol “but we will not renegotiate”.

    Mr Hannan added: “If Brussels were genuinely interested in the integrity of its single market, it would have no problem with what Britain is proposing.

    “But, until now, it has had other goals: creating an all-Ireland economy; keeping the UK within its regulatory orbit; ensuring that beef imports from Australia and the US don’t displace those from Ireland; and generally teaching us a lesson.”

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    8.20am update: Brexit ultimatum: UK asks EU to bring deal to ‘standstill’ as food supply threatened

    Britain has asked the EU to bring the Northern Ireland Protocol to a “standstill” so a raft of new measures which could threaten the supply of food and medicines to the province do not come into force.

    The export of chilled meats such as sausages from England, Scotland and Wales to Northern Ireland will be banned from October unless a new arrangement can be secured.

    There is also concern about the supply of medicines, with a British pharmaceutical trade association warning that more than 2,000 medicines could be withdrawn if new regulations due to be introduced in January make it “unviable” to export to Northern Ireland.

    The UK request for a standstill would mean existing “grace periods” covering the import of products such as chilled meats and medicines would continue.



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