Brexit: Lord Moylan discusses EU’s mistakes in process
And former Boris Johnson adviser Baron Moylan has warned Lord David Frost not to fall for what he called Brussels’ “trick” – while praising him for the impression he has made since he became a member of the Upper House. Baron Moylan, previously Daniel Moylan, who was chief airport adviser to Mr Johnson when he was London Mayor, was commenting on the ongoing dispute over the controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Critics have claimed the result has been a border down the Irish Sea which has effectively cut Northern Ireland off from Great Britain.
Lord Frost has been instrumental in the decision unilaterally to extend the grace period limiting the amount of paperwork businesses has to fill out for goods exported to Northern Ireland, prompting Brussels to initiate legal action in protest.
Baron Moylan said the EU’s behaviour was indicative of a desire to coerce Britain into falling into line with its single market rules and regulations – and ultimately, to pave the way for it to return to the EU eventually.
Lord David Frost and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
Baron Moylan speaking in the Lords
Most recently, European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic sounded an explicit warning that relations between the bloc and the UK would “sour” if the situation was not resolved, in what was interpreted by some as a veiled threat.
Baron Moylan told Express.co.uk: “I think David Frost would like to find compromises that make things work better.
“But he’s not meeting any response. The EU ambassador in London was on the radio last week and again was very uncompromising, saying the protocol that has to be fully implemented in detail and so on. There was no sign of compromise.”
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Baron Moylan, who is also the former chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, as well as having served as the deputy chairman of Transport for London, added: “David Frost has a government policy which he wants to deliver which is, if we’re going to have the protocol, it’s got to be made operative in a way that works for the communities in Northern Ireland and does not threaten the Good Friday Agreement.
“I think he’s a very important minister, because he has the Prime Minister’s confidence.”
As for Mr Sefcovic, he said: “What they want is they say ‘You could reduce taxes in Northern Ireland if only you came back and started following our rules on food and agriculture.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and Lord David Frost giving evidence to the Lords European Union Committee on the subject of Future UK-EU Relations
Maros Sefcovic has warned UK/EU relations could “sour”
“‘Why don’t you do that, come back halfway into the European Union, follow our rules?’”
Baron Moylan explained: “Well of course, that’s a complete trick. That’s just using Northern Ireland to get back control of our regulations, and our food and drink sector and to make it more difficult for us to do international trade deals.
“So it’s terribly important that Frost stands up and says, that’s the path we’re not going to go down.
“And then we’ll just have to see if there’s any give or compromise once they understand that.
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“Their current attitude is ‘Come back into the European Union solution, we don’t have to change anything but you could just make it all easy by rejoining the European Union a bit here, a bit there and soon enough you’ll be back.’”
Baron Moylan, who was appointed to the Chamber last year, said Lord Frost’s appearances there were infrequent.
He said: “He’s a minister so he appears in the House of Lords occasionally, to answer questions or make statements.
“He doesn’t have his life in the House of Lords.
The Northern Ireland Protocol is highly controversial
“He does do half an hour of questions every month, where peers can submit for a ballot questions to ask him.”
Baron Moylan was nevertheless impressed.
He added: “I think in terms of his personal style, his manner of speaking I think he’s actually gone down very well in the House.
“I think he fits in well and the peers listen to him and he commands the respect of the House of Lords when he does answer questions.”