Politics

Brexit LIVE: Stop point scoring! Lord Frost orders EU to budge as demands ‘make no sense’

Lord Frost urges EU to 'tone down language' towards UK

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The Northern Ireland Protocol was incorporated into the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to help avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. To keep the Irish border open, Northern Ireland effectively remains part of the EU’s single market and some checks are now made on some products arriving from the rest of the UK.

But Unionists claim these controls have driven a wedge between countries of the United Kingdom leaving tensions at breaking point North of the border.

Customs officials had previously been withdrawn from ports because of fears over their safety.

The Cabinet Office Minister today called for Brussels to budge and claimed the arrangements “make no sense.”

In an op-ed in today’s Mail on Sunday, Mr Frost added: “There is no evidence that goods not meeting EU standards are getting into the EU’s single market via Northern Ireland.

“All this paperwork and checks – to deal with a risk that does not exist.

“The EU takes a very purist view of all this.

“It seems to want to treat goods moving to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK in the same way as the arrival of a vast Chinese container ship at Rotterdam.

“We did not anticipate this when we agreed the Protocol and it makes no sense.”

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7:30am update: Brexit TURBOCHARGE: UK to start mega trade talks with Canada and Mexico this week

The UK will this week kick off “next generation” trade talks with Canada and Mexico in a bid to unlock new opportunities for growth.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will start the process of securing new deals in pursuit of a “bright future beyond Covid”.

The UK wants to build on existing arrangements with these countries to “harness the digital revolution, boost innovation and turbocharge our pursuit of green growth”.

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