David Frost’s latest Brexit intervention has been described as bizarre by a Fine Gael TD.
Reacting to the speech by the UK’s Brexit negotiator in Lisbon today, Neale Richmond TD, the party’s spokesperson for European Affairs, has described as puzzling the unilateral announcement of a new legal text for a deal that was completed and ratified last year.
Deputy Richmond said: “Following months of engagement and discussion, the European Commission will tomorrow announce a series of generous proposals that will seek to make the implementation of the Protocol far less onerous for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland.
“Businesses and political and civic leaders in Northern Ireland hold genuine concerns regarding the Protocol, though contrary to Lord Frost, none have mentioned the role of the European Court of Justice as a major concern.
“The European Commission has listened to these concerns, taken them on board and is now seeking to resolve them in a way that will benefit the businesses, and crucially the people of Northern Ireland.
“However, rather than waiting patiently to study and then engage on these proposals, the UK’s lead Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, has today used a speech in Lisbon to talk of a new legal text. This signals a worrying desire to abandoning the existing protocol.
“To talk of an alternative protocol on Northern Ireland without so much as a jot of consultation with the EU, the Irish government or politicians in Northern Ireland, confirms a British Government still speaking to itself.
“Playing to a domestic audience, this latest Brexit lurch is an act of gross duplicity from the man who negotiated every line of the Protocol, endorsed the Protocol and sold it to the UK public in the first place.
“Once again, it is hard to see how this British Government are serious about their responsibilities,” Deputy Richmond concluded.