Northern Ireland Protocol 'clearly not working' says Rees-Mogg
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Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg openly claimed the NI protocol “is clearly not working” and the UK has come to “a point at which it will not be possible to operate under the current circumstances”. In light of the claims, LBC presenter Nick Ferrari remained Mr Rees-Mogg that it was “the United Kingdom who put the protocol together” and pointed out whether the UK has “designed something knowing it was faulty”. Mr Rees-Mogg responded saying that “the EU is responsible” for the current situation as the EU is showing concern over updating the agreement besides the protocol itself envisaging the possibility for updates.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The protocol is clearly not working.
“And the negotiations with the EU which were provided for within the withdrawal agreement are not to my mind being carried on in good faith.
“They have not got where they ought to have got to, and therefore there comes a point at which it will not be possible to operate under the current circumstances.
“The current functioning of the Northern Ireland protocol is not working for the people of Northern Ireland, or of Great Britain.”
Mr Ferrari pointed out: “But the United Kingdom put the protocol together.”
Mr Rees-Mogg responded: “It was part of the negotiations with the EU, but it included in the agreement, and this is a really important point that gets overlooked the whole time, that the agreement itself provided for the simplification and updating of the protocol.
“And that’s the key bit that hasn’t happened.”
Mr Ferrari said: “So we designed something knowing that it was faulty.
“It’s like manufacturing a car knowing you’re going to do a recall.”
Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “You know that’s not how it is.
“In the negotiations, when you have a strict time limit, there may be issues that you can’t agree entirely and you recognise you will need to come back to it.
“And there was plenty of time to do it because there was an implementation period after the agreement was signed.
“And there was suspension of the activation of the protocol to ease it in, which allowed over two years for this negotiation to take place.
“And that was all built in.
“It just hasn’t worked properly.
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“And I think the EU is primarily responsible for that”.
European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic claimed it is “simply not acceptable” for the UK to alter the NI Protocol.
He added: “It continues to be of serious concern that the UK government intends to embark on the path of unilateral action”
In light of the EU stance, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss responded warning that if the EU does not show “the requisite flexibility” the UK might have “no choice” but to change the agreement, explaining that this is a matter of “peace and security”.
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