Northern Ireland may become 'serious problem' warns Rogers
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The Belgian MEP took to Twitter to challenge Lord Frost’s claims the EU has been “overly strict” on post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland. Now, Twitter users have mocked Mr Verhofstadt, gleefully pointing out “we have left” the bloc.
After Lord Frost said the EU’s implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol had “destroyed cross-community consent”, Mr Verhofstadt fired back on Twitter.
He said: “No Frost, it’s not the protocol but BREXIT that destroyed cross-community consent.
“Not 1 moment did Brexiteers consider NI implications & risks to Good Friday Agreement, while everyone incl. EU warned them!”
Twitter accounts mocked Mr Verhofstadt for his comments on Brexit.
Politics Sense said in response to the MEP’s comments: “Guy, we have left. It’s over. We’ve gone.
“We’re not coming back. We’re not joining the customs union. We’re not joining the single market.
“We’re not aligning standards. If you want to continue playing awkward, carry on and we’ll carry on too.
“We’re actually pretty good at it.”
Other users chimed in, with Dan B saying the EU has been “far too big for its boots” in Northern Ireland.
He said: “Guy, he’s ‘Lord Frost’ to you. The EU has been act far too big for its boots in Northern Ireland.
‘The EU is attempting to ‘annex’ Northern Ireland by weaponising Boris’ failure of a Brexit deal and the atrocious NI protocol.
“That is what has been destroying things.”
In a Policy Exchange think-tank paper published on Sunday, Lord Frost accused the EU of behaving “without regard to the huge political, economic and identity sensitivities involved” in Northern Ireland.
He the operation of the Protocol “has begun to damage the thing it was designed to protect – the Belfast Good Friday Agreement”.
The Brexit minister added: “The insistence of the EU on treating these arrangements as like any other part of its customs and single market rules, without regard to the huge political, economic, and identity sensitivities involved, has destroyed cross-community consent well before the four-year mark.”
“We also have the lived experience of aspects that are simply unsustainable in the long-term for any Government responsible for the lives of its citizens – like having to negotiate with a third party about the distribution of medicines within the NHS.
“That is why we must return to the Protocol and deliver a more robust, and more balanced, outcome than we could in 2019.
“I hope the EU will, in the end, join us in that.”
It comes as two masked men torched a bus in Northern Ireland on early Monday, in an attack linked to British unionists’ opposition to the post-Brexit trade protocol.
The men ordered the driver to get out before pouring fuel over the vehicle in Newtownards, police said.
No passengers were on board, bus operator Translink added.
The Belfast Telegraph reported the attackers mentioned the Northern Ireland protocol during the incident.
Democratic Unionist Party chief Jeffrey Donaldson said acts like the bus burning would only “cement the protocol more firmly in place”.
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