Just when you thought Brexit was done and dusted it rears its ugly head again and makes you wonder what the point of the whole messy complicated process was in the first place.
A debate has kicked off between the UK government and the European Union over the divisive Northern Ireland protocol – part of the Brexit divorce deal agreed by the UK and Brussels – which is now being deemed unsustainable by the UK.
Lord Frost has said “we cannot go on as we are” in regards to the protocol – which was set up to avoid a hard border in Ireland but has instead effectively placed a trade barrier in the Irish Sea – and that the UK’s proposal’s for changes to the post-Brexit trade agreement needs to be looked at by the EU with “fresh eyes.”
However, the European Commission’s vice-president Maros Sefcovic said that the EU “will not agree to a renegotiation of the protocol,” adding: “Joint action in the joint bodies established by the Withdrawal Agreement will be of paramount importance over the coming months.” Sefcovic also prioritised stability in Northern Ireland and said that he looks forward to speaking to Lord Frost soon.
Correct us if we are wrong – but wasn’t this all supposed to be a “great deal” for the UK and “delivered everything that we wanted from Brexit” and would “keep the whole of the UK together?” Not our words but the words of the prime minister, who used those phrases and several others to hype up his deal before the UK left the EU in January 2020.
If you don’t believe us, then please take a look at this two-minute supercut by @AndrejNkv featuring clips from 2019 where Boris Johnson constantly championed his “oven-ready deal” which already looks to be past its sell-by-date.
It really is a startling thing to behold and perhaps further proof that Brexit appears to be a bin fire that the UK will probably be trying to extinguish for years.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Johnson has said: “I think we would expect the EU to take the time to consider our approach and our suggestions and come back with a considered view. We’ve been saying consistently for some time now that the way the Protocol is being applied is simply not acceptable - it’s not acceptable to the people of Northern Ireland, it’s not acceptable to the businesses there who are losing out, and it needs to be urgently addressed.”
Once again, this was something that Johnson and the government negotiated and agreed to...