Politics

EU plot backfires! Joe Biden ‘unimpressed’ by bitter bloc’s Brexit own goal

Brexit: EU's 'peculiar' law criticised by Eustice

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The EU has taken a hardline with the UK over Northern Ireland, leading to one MP accusing the bloc of “imperilling” the Belfast Agreement. While Mr Biden has issued his support for the Northern Ireland protocol, David Jones, deputy chairman for the European Research Group and MP for Clwyd West, claimed the President will not have been “impressed” by the bloc’s intransigence. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Jones said: “I wouldn’t have thought that Biden would be too impressed if, you know, there was inflexibility on the part of the European Union is imperilling the Belfast agreement.

“And that’s what’s happening, the Americans played a big role in the conclusion of the agreement in the first place.”

Brexit tensions escalated this week as the EU and UK failed to come to a compromise over the issues surrounding trade in Northern Ireland.

The two sides held a joint meeting on Wednesday to fix issues, namely the impending ban on British chilled meats but failed to do so.

Indeed, to force the UK into backing down, there had been reports the EU would use the G7 summit to pressure the Prime Minister into aligning with the bloc in order to avoid the ban on chilled meats.

Following the meeting, however, the UK has insisted it will find pragmatic solutions to the ban on chilled meats despite the EU’s inflexibility.

Mr Jones added: “Biden actually understands the dynamics.

“And he will understand there really has to be flexibility and common sense displayed in this relationship.

“What they’re doing is, is really doing neither. So I would think Biden would not be impressed if flexibility was causing these problems.

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“And it’s perfectly clear to anyone who looks at what’s happening from the outside what the problem is.

“The problem is that they are enforcing the protocol in a way that was never envisaged.

“It would appear because they want to continue their punishment of the United Kingdom as they see it for having the goal to leave the EU.”

Amid the issues surrounding customs checks for goods moving from Great Britain, the UK has claimed it may well take unilateral measures to extend the grace period for goods.

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The grace period for chilled meat products is set to expire this month and the EU has threatened to take a swift response if the UK moves to extend the period.

While the EU has attacked the UK over Brexit, Westminster officials claimed Brussels had taken a strict interpretation of the protocol.

Trade minister, Greg Hands told Sky News this week: “We absolutely agree on preserving the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

“But to do that does mean a more pragmatic approach from the European Union in terms of how it interprets the Protocol.

“We have submitted some very serious proposals to Brussels about how to improve the situation.

“The EU is following a very officious interpretation of a lot of these rules.”

The protocol states that Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s single market and must apply its customs rules for goods entering the country from Great Britain.

Businesses have been hit by increased customs paperwork, which has fuelled tensions in the country.

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