The EU has urged David Frost to end his “political stance” on the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiations and to accept that he cannot reverse Brexit.
European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič commented after Lord Frost, Britain’s Brexit Minister, called for an injection of “more urgency” into talks to resolve the dispute over checks and checks on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Comments from Frost and Šefčovič on Sunday suggest the two sides are further apart than ever, dashing hopes raised by Minister Michael Gove’s remarks that he was “confident” that Article 16, which would suspend all or part of the protocol, should not be triggered.
Šefčovič told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show that he was surprised by Frost’s emergency call because “sometimes I feel like in our meetings I’m the only one pushing for things. urgent solutions ”.
He said the EU offered a solution on June 30 to one of the main drug supply issues, but the UK was still dragging its heels.
“I remember very well that Lord Frost told me that what is very important to him is not only the content but also the process and so I waited [to see] if we can provide this solution jointly. And I must say that [as of] today this is not the case.
“I don’t think this will solve the most pressing problem for the people of Northern Ireland and so we could act alone to make sure the people of Northern Ireland have the medicine they need,” he said. -he declares.
Regarding the removal of controls in the Irish Sea, efčovič reiterated that the EU has already made proposals to halve customs formalities and eliminate 80% of food controls.
In a article in the Sunday Mail, Frost said that “the solutions do not solve the problems”, noting that 200 retailers had stopped shipping to Northern Ireland and that Marks & Spencer had withdrawn its entire click and collect range for Christmas “due to uncertainties in schedules Delivery”.
“There is a simple solution. Goods that we and the EU agree will not leave Northern Ireland should not be treated as if moving from one country to another, because they do not ”, a- he declared. “But for now, the EU says it’s impossible. I urge them to think again.
Pressed on this point, efčovič said it was impossible to remove all surveillance of goods because the EU needed a “big picture” on the movement of goods entering the single market. “We cannot reverse Brexit,” he said.
Frost’s comments on Sunday suggest that the UK’s approach has not changed despite an apparent change in tone two weeks ago and that triggering Article 16 remains a possibility.
“The current issues with the protocol go to the heart of our territorial integrity, of what it means to be a country and a market. They won’t just go away, ”Frost said. “I still hope that the EU can show the ambition necessary to solve the problem with an agreement. If they cannot, we will of course have to safeguard our position by other means.