EU hits out at Lord Frost's Northern Ireland demands
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Critics have pointed towards the lack of threats to trigger Article 16 as evidence of the Brexit negotiator softening his stance. Lord Frost told Parliament last month: “There is more to do and I certainly will not give up on this process [by triggering Article 16] unless and until it is abundantly clear that nothing more can be done.” He added: “We are certainly not at that point yet.”
Negotiations have been ongoing between the EU and the UK to bring an end to the hated Brexit deal, in the hope that the dispute will be brought to an end.
But Express.co.uk readers have expressed their anger at the suggestion that Lord Frost is softening his stance on the issue.
Wokehater wrote: “Watch Brexit being watered down to meaningless.”
3downnotout wrote: Oh dear! Lord Frost going soft is not the news people in UK wanted to see as headlines in news today.
“If PM cannot get his head around Actioning Article 16 – you handed to him means to actioning on a plate, perhaps this is something which others should do.
“People in NI want this sorted not given away.”
Bucky Buck wrote: “This is a public admission that Boris and Frosty know that the EU holds all the cards.
“Everyone except the Leavers always knew this was the case.”
Peter Verdonck wrote: After more than two months of idle threats it became abundantly clear that the UK held a very weak hand.
“As usual the EU just had to wait until the UK would cave.
“It’s called leverage. Better get used to it.”
The latest disagreement between the UK and the EU is centred around medicine supplies.
With the agreement in place, Northern Ireland continues to fall under the EU’s pharmaceutical regulations.
This means that any goods arriving in Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK will be subject to checks by the EU.
Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, warned he did not think an agreement would be in place before the New Year.
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He said: “While that progress is possible, it’s important to encourage both sides to try to find landing zones and compromise positions on important issues.
“In particular on the guarantee of supply of medicines into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, which is something that I know both teams have been trying to resolve in recent weeks, and hopefully we can make progress on soon.
“I don’t think there’ll be a full deal on all issues related to the protocol before Christmas.
“I think that would be unrealistic at this stage, but I think some things can be agreed this side of Christmas, hopefully, as I say, giving certainty to people in Northern Ireland in terms of the supply of medicines from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.
“Certainly the EU is very anxious to move that issue on, and they believe that they have a solution that hopefully can work for the British side as well.”
However, contrary to Mr Coveney’s view, following a meeting with European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič last week, Lord Frost believed each side were making progress in negotiations.
The 56-year-old said they were “making worthwhile progress” just before Christmas.
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