Brexit: Boris Johnson told to 'protect British industry' by host
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Relations have remained tense between the UK and EU due to the issues over trade in Northern Ireland. Although Lord David Frost has moved to put forward a plan to ease relations in Northern Ireland, Andrew Bridgen Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, warned Ireland is being used to pressure the UK. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Bridgen also warned the EU has always wanted to punish the UK for wanting to leave the bloc.
He said: “Lord Frost has a terrible job on his hands and he’s trying to get the EU to agree to a spirit of the deal.
“He is trying to sort problems and minimise disruption when the EU actually wants to make the protocol as disruptive as possible.
“The idea was that this joint committee was supposed to sort out all these minor problems and make it smoother.
“And constantly use the Northern Ireland protocol as a stick to beat the UK.
“It’s just clear the EU wants to annex Northern Ireland away from us, which is what they always wanted.”
Mr Bridgen also claimed the EU has shown a complete disregard for the problems faced in Ireland due to its intransigence on the Northern Ireland protocol.
He added: “I think the Republic of Ireland had been used as a pawn in the new Brexit negotiations and I think the attempted implementation of Article 16 over the vaccines shows the complete disregard for the Irish border.
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“The Republic of Ireland served that purpose for the EU, and they were quite happy to throw them to the wolves.”
The Northern Ireland protocol was designed to stop the creation of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
However, this has meant leaving Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market while a customs border was also created in the Irish Sea.
As a result, violence has erupted at the prospect of the country being left behind and separated from the UK.
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Due to the issues seen in Northern Ireland, some have called for the protocol to be scrapped or altered.
Speaking on Thursday, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I think the Prime Minister and Lord Forst have been listening, they have been putting out some very good statements in relation to dealing with the protocol.
“But now we need to see action, and we need to see action quite soon, because every day the protocol remains the way it is, there’s more damage done to Northern Ireland.
“We’ve said all along when the European Commission tried to invoke Article 16 at the end of January, that the Europeans were quite happy to do it in terms of vaccines and making sure that they had enough vaccines.
“This is doing real damage to Northern Ireland in terms of our trade, but also in terms of the union and therefore the Prime Minister needs to act and I hope that Lord Frost will bring forward proposals very very soon.”
Talks will continue between the UK and the EU in order to resolve the issues in the country.
Lord Frost has drawn up a roadmap to ease trade ties which would see the remaining customs checks be phased in over a period from October.
It is unclear, however, whether the EU will agree to this plan.
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