He made the remarks on the DUP’s position pressing on the government’s demand for the EU to remove the arbitration role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) from the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Responding to questions from the media at Stormont, Sir Jeffrey was asked why the ECJ was not explicitly referred to in his party’s seven trials to recognize efforts to address issues with the protocol.
Sir Jeffrey stated that the jurisdiction of the ECJ falls under a fourth test set by the party: “Give the people in Northern Ireland a point in making the laws governing them”.
It is not acceptable for Northern Ireland to accept the laws and jurisdiction of a court over which we have no control or authority.
“Actually that’s part of my test – that I want to know how the people of Northern Ireland will be treated in all of this,” he said.
“It is not acceptable for Northern Ireland to accept the laws and the jurisdiction of a court over which we have no control and in which we have no right. This is not the way forward.”
Sir Jeffrey said: “We are very clear that the governance system, how the future measures and arrangements that are agreed with the EU go forward, how they are governed is very important, because the future between the UK and There is a potential for divergence of the European Union, and we do not want Northern Ireland to be caught in all this once again.
Earlier, Sinn Féin accused the UK of Government Moving the goalposts by demanding the removal of the ECJ’s role in the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Declan Kearney questioned whether the government was throwing a “dead cat” on the negotiating table because the EU was about to “fall under their bluff” by presenting proposals that would solve practical difficulties with Irish Sea trade.
However, Sir Jeffrey said that final decisions on trade disputes involving Northern Ireland are “real issues” with European judges.
The European Union Will outline what it describes as “far-reaching proposals” on Wednesday to address issues with the protocol.
Brexit negotiator Lord Frost has said that if both sides are to resolve the impasse over the controversial post-Brexit trading arrangement, the ECJ’s monitoring role in mediating any future UK/EU disagreements on the protocol must be removed.
The goalposts seem to be constantly changing from the perspective of David Frost’s negotiating strategy and I think we are now seeing the goalposts changing once again
Critics of the UK government claim it is now picking up a brand new red line when engagement to date has focused on reducing everyday checks and procedures on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Mr Kearney, a Sinn Féin junior minister in Stormont, told BBC Radio Ulster: “The problem as a whole, and especially in the last nine to 10 months, is that as we try to double down and tackle these issues The goalposts seem to be constantly changing from the perspective of David Frost’s negotiating strategy and I think we are now seeing the goalposts changing once again.
“I think it could potentially be read in one of two ways.
“It may well be a negotiation strategy. Now we are getting to the point where hopefully all of these issues can be covered successfully and we can really see all the difficulties with dismantling the protocol And David Frostow The EU is just trying to move forward and bring some more heat into the negotiation process that follows the publication of the proposals.
“However, there is another scenario. And they are this time, David Frost and the Tory government, finding that their hoax has finally been called and the EU is really going to put forward concrete proposals on all these areas – medicines, agriculture –.” The food, the customs and the governance – which will really bring certainty, simplicity and stability to our trade sector in the north and to the island economy and they are afraid of it.
“Therefore, the dead cat of the European Court of Justice is being thrown on the table.”
Mr Kearney said it would be a “disaster” if the UK government went away from protocol.
Sir Jeffrey said he understood why the government was concerned about the ECJ.
He stressed that this is not a new issue and was flagged in the government’s command paper on the protocol published in the summer.
The DUP leader, however, refused to insist on whether the issue would be a “red line” for his party.
He said he would not judge EU proposals until he had a vision of them, insisting his priority was the removal of the Irish Sea border.
Speaking at the Stormont assembly on Monday afternoon, First Minister Paul Givhan emphasized the “damage” being done by the protocol, saying it “is not working and needs to be changed”.
“I look forward to proposals from the EU later this week, I look forward to the Government of the United Kingdom on how they will respond to that and let us get to a place where East/West are no longer a barrier, And of course it is interdependent on North/South relations,” he told the MLAs.