Northern Ireland protocol 'provides no protection' says Donaldson
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Baroness Kate Hoey took aim at the bloc on Twitter by sharing a letter condemning the agreement and its impact on Northern Ireland. The former Labour MP tweeted a picture of the newspaper article written by John Hoey from Newtonabbey, Belfast, along with the caption: “A short letter of common sense #ditchtheprotocol.”
The letter insists the Protocol, created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, is surplus to requirements and argues checks on goods can be carried out domestically and without EU interference.
The letter said: “I would be grateful if any europhiles could explain to me – in no more than one side of A4 – why we actually need the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“I can’t see what real task there is for Revenue and Customs officials – after all, there are no quotas to count nor tariffs to collect.
“And as for the famous sandwich-maker in Strabane who sells her goods in Leterrkenny and Ballybofey, if she happens to use the ‘wrong kind of cooked ham’ for the picky European palette then surely that should be a matter for trading standards in County Donegal to address? “
The Northern Ireland Protocol was created to protect the Good Friday Agreement and has tied Belfast to the EU single market.
The EU has been pushing for vigorous checks on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland which are said to be “at risk” of entering EU markets.
The UK Government has argued the bloc has taken a heavy-handed approach in its interpretation of the Protocol and a row threatened to explode this summer over the flow of chilled meats.
A so-called sausage-war threatened to ignite after the bloc insisted on further checks on animal products.
A truce was finally sealed in July and the grace period has since been extended indefinitely while the search for a more permanent solution to the protocol continues.
Unionists insist problems with the Protocol stem beyond trade and argue it also undermines the integrity of the UK.
Speaking on GB News in July, Ms Hoey said: “The protocol will have to go one way or the other. I am hopeful that everyone will see sense.
“People in this country…in Great Britain who were Leavers will understand this is much more than about Northern Ireland.
“This is about actually the EU wanting to punish us still for leaving their little club.”
The UK Government has actively sought solutions to the Protocol and outlined a command paper in July to renegotiate the deal.
Brexit Minister Lord David Frost stressed the UK and EU “cannot go on as we are” and called for “significant changes”.
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Lord Frost remains in talks with the European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic to ease disruption.
Speaking on a trip to Northern Ireland on Friday, the EU chief insisted the Protocol would not be scrapped, but hoped a compromise would be reached to benefit both sides.
He said: “I told them, for me, I do not need any political victory here.
“I want to find a solution which would represent win-win – victory for all, first and foremost for the people of Northern Ireland.
“That’s the goal why I came here. That’s my attitude. That’s my approach.”
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