Protocol: PM ‘knew all along’ says GB News host
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Conservative MP for Stockton South was blasted over the fact UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the Northern Ireland protocol with the European Union and was aware it would create a customs border in the Irish Sea. Both the UK and the EU finalised the protocol talks in December 2020. Under the protocol, Northern Ireland would remain in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union with the rest of the Republic of Ireland. To protect the integrity of the EU, both the UK and the EU agree on a customs border in the Irish Sea, effectively, separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.
GB News’ Political Editor McCaffrey confronted Conservative MP Matt Vickers: “This is a protocol that the government signed up to, that Boris Johnson signed up to.
“He knew, didn’t he that there was going to be a border in the Irish Sea
“That was part of the compromise to get Brexit done.
“Why should we be surprised that we’ve found ourselves in this position?” Mr McCaffrey asked.
Tory MP Matt Vickers answered: “It was an agreement built on goodwill on two partners who’ve been working together for a very long time.
“Since this was being put in place, we’ve seen anything but goodwill.
“We saw the EU consider blocking life-saving vaccines going in.
“It’s bonkers and actually, the problem is the way in which the checks are being carried out.
“It’s disproportionate. It’s unreasonable.”
Trade tensions are ramping up, as the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss threatened with scrapping parts of the protocol, raising the matter of “internal peace and security” in Northern Ireland.
Following local elections, the Democratic Unionist (DUP) in Northern Ireland have refused to appoint new ministers until good checks on the Irish Sea coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain are scrapped.
Secretary Truss’ EU Commission counterpart Maroš Šefčovič told Lizz Truss there was “no room to expand the negotiating mandate or introduce new proposals to reduce the overall level of trade friction.”
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MP Vickers continued: “Of all the checks going on in the EU for goods travelling in, 20 percent of them are being done in Northern Ireland.
“There are more checks taking place on goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland than if you’re bringing things into the EU from India.
“It’s disproportionate, it’s wrong. And we need to find a reasonable, sensible way forward.”
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