Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

‘Brexit deal still not in place’: Lord Frost will tell EU leaders more concessions are needed to break deadlock in Northern Ireland

  • British officials warned that two sides are still not ‘on the same side’ as they start talks
  • The Minister will press the EU counterpart to increase the supervision of European judges in NI
  • Couples will agree on a schedule for what is expected to be 3-4 weeks of intensive conversations
  • The Minister of Health signaled that the government would continue to take a tough stance


Lord Frost will tell the EU that it will go further to resolve a clash over Northern Ireland when the Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels.

British officials warned last night that the two sides are still ‘not on the same side’ as they initiate talks.

The Brexit minister will press his EU colleague Maros Sefcovic to increase supervision of European judges in Northern Ireland.

At a luncheon at the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters, the couple will agree on a timetable for what is expected to be three to four weeks of intensive talks.

A possible compromise would see the role of the European Court of Justice in Northern Ireland limited.

Lord Frost (pictured Thursday) will tell the EU that it must move forward to resolve a clash over Northern Ireland as Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels

Lord Frost (pictured Thursday) will tell the EU that it must move forward to resolve a clash over Northern Ireland as Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels

Brexit minister to pressure his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic (above at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday) to step up supervision of European judges in Northern Ireland

Brexit minister to pressure his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic (above at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday) to step up supervision of European judges in Northern Ireland

… as Theresa’s adviser praises harsh tactics

Theresa May’s former Brexit adviser has said that EU concessions show that an ‘aggressive strategy’ is the ‘only one’ working ‘with Brussels.

In a major ascent, the European Commission has offered to scrap most controls on British goods crossing to Northern Ireland.

The compromise comes after Boris Johnson threatened to take the nuclear option to suspend parts of the Brexit deal.

Raoul Ruparel tweeted that the EU’s plans ‘were definitely enough to start negotiations in the coming weeks’, adding: ‘This will only anchor the perception that Britain’s aggressive strategy is the only one working with the EU …’

Disputes will be referred to an independent arbitration panel. The European Court of Justice would only be involved as a last resort if this could not resolve the case.

But British government sources last night dampened expectations as to whether such a solution would be acceptable.

And Health Secretary Sajid Javid signaled that the government would continue to take a tough stance, insisting ministers had been clear that ‘one of the key issues is to end the Court’s role in Northern Ireland’.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said yesterday that the EU has made ‘very significant’ progress in resolving issues surrounding the Brexit agreement.

In proposals published earlier this week, the European Commission offered to reduce 80 per cent of regulatory controls and dramatically reduce customs processes on UK goods moving to Northern Ireland.

But DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told Sefcovic yesterday that proposed changes to Northern Ireland’s protocol ‘do not meet the requirements’.

Meanwhile, the ‘ferret war’ replaced the sausage screen as the latest unlikely Brexit battlefield named after a dispute over free movement of pets across the Irish Sea.

The EU’s latest border control concession does not cover cats, dogs or even ferrets – but Lord Frost wants British pets to move freely. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I would call this a ferret blockade. It is time for the EU to carry out a reverse ferret. ‘

A spokesman for the British government said last night despite the concessions from Brussels ‘it is clear that there is still a significant gap between our two positions’.

It happened when French fishermen repeated threats to block the canal – after Britain refused to issue permits to 35 trawlers to fish between six and 12 miles off the British coast, where they could operate before Brexit.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin (pictured in Dublin on Thursday) said the EU had made 'very significant' progress in resolving issues surrounding the Brexit agreement

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin (pictured in Dublin on Thursday) said the EU had made ‘very significant’ progress in resolving issues surrounding the Brexit agreement

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