Andrew Marr clashes with Sefcovic over Northern Ireland
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The damning assessment was published on the website of pro-Brexit think-tank Facts4EU in the wake of the visit to Belfast of European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic last week, with the EU and UK still deadlocked on the subject of the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland. In one speech at Queen’s University, Mr Sefcovic said: “The EU has an unshakeable commitment to the people of Northern Ireland to ensure that the peace, stability and prosperity they have enjoyed over the last 20 plus years is preserved. After all, the EU is a peace project itself.”
He added: “We will therefore continue to support the PEACE+ programme, together with the UK and the Irish government, to the tune of around 1 billion euros.
“This financial support will be all the more important as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The scheme to which Mr Sefcovic is referring is known as the Peace Plus programme, into which the UK is scheduled to pay £730million, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis confirmed on September 4.
The figure dwarfs the total contribution of the EU and Ireland combined – £220million – Facts4EU’s report points out.
Leigh Evans, Facts4EU’s chairman, said: “Firstly, the European Union is NOT a peace project in itself, as the EU Commission’s Vice-President claimed on Friday.
“It is a totalitarian and authoritarian ‘projekt’, with the principal aim of homogenising and controlling hundreds of millions of citizens of European countries and creating one superstate, ruled from Brussels by individuals who are not directly elected by the people.”
Mr Evans conceded his blunt characterisation was unlikely to appeal to Brussels, but insisted that “the facts of its aims have been well documented over decades”.
He added: “Nor did the EU have anything to do with securing the peace in Northern Ireland.
JUST IN: Keir Starmer crucified for 14,000-word essay gaffe
“The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement was a local and national affair, led by those who understood what was needed to forge peace.
“It was for good reason that the Nobel Peace prize was awarded to David Trimble and the late John Hume, both Northern Ireland politicians.”
Mr Evans also asked on what basis an unelected EU Commissioner and Vice-President such as Mr Sefcovic had for touring a part of the newly independent United Kingdom “acting as if he were a government minister”.
New post-Brexit visas unveiled – Priti Patel announces latest plans [UPDATE]
Top economist damning warning against joining EU and eurozone [INSIGHT]
Super trawler fury erupts as Boris Johnson urged to act [REACTION]
He added: “Thirdly, why is the British Government paying £0.73billion to the EU, for it to spend in Northern Ireland and in the cross border areas of the Republic of Ireland, only for the EU to claim the credit by erecting EU plaques on every project?”
Further research suggests the cash had not yet been transferred to the EU, because the bloc had not yet been able to create the required funding mechanism for a cross-border fund.
Mr Evans said: “We propose that now that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU, it should not participate in this EU programme at all.
“Instead the money should be part of a ‘UK-NI Peace Fund’.
“Failing that, at the very least the UK Government should make any transfer of funds to the EU conditional on plaques being erected on every project which is helped, saying ‘Majority funded by the United Kingdom’, and bearing the Union Jack.”
Mr Evans emphasised that not one person in Northern Ireland, or in fact anywhere in the European Union itself, had voted for Mr Sefcovic, who owed his allegiance to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and to the MEPs who ratified his appointment.
Mr Evans added: “Not one person in Northern Ireland was given the opportunity to vote on the question of whether to give up their sovereignty to Brussels, with no say in the making of laws, nor their implementation.
“This article is about sovereignty. Over five years ago the people of the United Kingdom voted to regain it from Brussels.
“They did not vote for it to be reimposed by Brussels by the back door.”
Source: Read Full Article