Just as Micheal Gove is set for have a meeting with EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, the commission sends a pre-meeting letter stating the EU will refuse to change anything in the Northern Ireland protocol.
In the letter, Mr Sefcovic wrote: “The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Union, its single market and its customs union presents unique and significant challenges for the island of Ireland.
“The protocol is the solution agreed by the UK and the EU to these challenges: it is the only way to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, preserving peace and stability and avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“It is designed to ensure clarity and predictability for people and businesses while minimising the disruption inevitably caused by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. It is a balanced outcome after years of difficult negotiations and is now our mutually agreed legal obligation.
“I, therefore, agree that our shared objective is to work tirelessly in order to make the protocol work. It requires full and faithful implementation by both parties.
“The Union’s commitment to the objectives of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, as a cornerstone of both the Withdrawal Agreement and the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, is unwavering.”
BREAKING: European Commission Maros Sefcovic has told @michaelgove that sweeping changes to the Protocol will not be possible, and that any flexibilities require the UK for its part to implement the terms of last December's NI Protocol— Tony Connelly (@tconnellyRTE) February 10, 2021
This refusal to amend the protocol will only fan the flames for those in the DUP who wants the protocol scrapping, especially after the EU triggered article 16 without warning.
You can’t blame those in Northern Ireland to have little trust in the EU when their sole purpose is to use Northern Ireland as leverage to smack the UK.