Before David enters into intense talks with the EU around Northern Ireland, David Frost states everything hasn’t gone to plan as they originally thought. In the Financial Times David Frost wrote about why the UK agreed to the NI Protocol.
David Said: “When we agreed this new protocol in 2019, we did so in order to remove the old disastrous “backstop” and to enable Brexit to happen, but to do so in a way that maintained our overriding priority of protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and avoiding a hard border.“
David then admits that due to having experience under the rules of the protocol, the arrangement hasn’t gone to plan. David said: “because we are operating under the EU’s legal framework we have very limited discretion to operate the rules in a way which makes sense on the ground in Northern Ireland.”
“As a result the balance we hoped for has not been found. We are seeing political turbulence, with the loss of First Minister Arlene Foster, the change of the UUP leadership and street protests. And there are real world impacts on lives and livelihoods. We underestimated the effect of the protocol on goods movements to Northern Ireland, with some suppliers in Great Britain simply not sending their products because of the time-consuming paperwork required.”
“We’ve seen manufacturers of medicines cutting supply. And there is less choice on supermarket shelves for consumers. The NI Retail Consortium has warned that when the grace period ends in October, supermarkets will face “real, severe problems”.
With these words from the EU UK relations minister, it’s clear the original arrangements need to be scrapped or dramatically changed. Northern Ireland should not become collateral damage for weak governance from London. It’s about time the UK including Northern Ireland was put first, being treated as one entity.