Senior DUP leader Ian Paisley Jr has claimed that Boris Johnson made a personal promise to “tear down” the Northern Ireland Protocol once the Brexit deal with the EU was agreed.
It follows comments made by Dominic Cummings, a former adviser to the prime minister, who said Downing Street’s plan was always to “dig out the bits” we didn’t like.
Confirming Cummings’ claim, Paisley Jr. said Johnson had given him a guarantee ahead of the 2019 general election that protocol commitments in any withdrawal deal with the EU would be removed later.
“Boris Johnson told me personally that he would sign up to change that protocol and really tear it down once he agreed to the protocol,” the DUP MP told the BBC. newsnight.
The Unionist also claimed that the Prime Minister referred to the legal commitments governing the trade arrangement for Northern Ireland as “semantics” outlined in the Protocol.
Paisley Jr. said: “The fact of the matter is, I believe, that the Government really did not want this to happen to Northern Ireland and they made a short-term bet.
“The trouble is, it has cost Northern Ireland businessmen £850m which we can’t afford so it has to be fixed and it has to be fixed well.”
Johnson never understood what led to his withdrawal agreement with the EU finally signed in January 2020, his former chief adviser said in a series of tweets. “He never had any Scooby-Doo what he meant by the deal he signed,” Cummings wrote.
The row comes as the EU took measures to reduce checks on goods by 80 percent and dramatically cut customs procedures between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It follows a series of demands made by Brexit Minister David Frost, who urged the EU to agree to fundamental changes to the protocol – and end the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in trade arbitration.
EU Ambassador Joo Valle de Almeida said Brussels has gone the “extra mile” and cannot go further after Wednesday’s proposals.
“We have gone to the limit of what we can do to address Northern Ireland’s problems because we care about Northern Ireland,” he said. newsnight.
Brussels is said to be “preparing for the worst” as the UK signaled the EU’s offer was not enough. A British source told Granthshala: “Without the new regime on governance the Protocol will never get the support it needs to survive.
Labor’s shadow International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry called for “a little bigger politics” in the ongoing Brexit talks. “Stop the dogma, come up with some realistic answers to these problems,” she told Sky News on Thursday.
When asked about Cummings’ claims on plans to scrap the protocol, Thornberry said: “I think it’s appalling that people would think of representing our country as not knowing that they were going to implement it.” We’re leaving—I think it’s frightening.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /