David Frost: UK 'considering options' on NI Protocol
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Dr Timothy Bradshaw even drew a comparison with Kosovo, which split from Serbia after the war of 2008 – claiming Northern Ireland could go the same way. Dr Bradshaw, a theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman, was speaking in the week Brexit Minister Lord David Frost was preparing for fresh talks with EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic later this week.
Discussions will once again centre on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland – but there is little hope of a breakthrough.
Dr Bradshaw outlined his concerns in a blog published on the Conservative Woman website last month entitled This war on the UK (helped by Whitehall saboteurs).
Speaking this week, he told Express.co.uk: “Biden’s chaotic self made rout in Afghanistan made me ponder the UK Northern Ireland in the big picture of geopolitics.
“In particular Kosovo was detached from Serbia as punishment for Milosevic and is now a separate province run by Albanians, with Serbs being pushed out and their historic churches blown up. The UN, NATO and USA did this.”
The EU and USA under what Dr Bradshaw termed Mr Biden’s “anti-Unionist sentiment” were each engaged in a similar exercise with NI and the “de facto sea border against the UK economy”, he suggested.
He also highlighted Lord Trimble’s claim that the Protocol was “breaking the Good Friday Agreement and stirring up civil strife”.
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Dr Bradshaw added: “This does look like a ‘war without fighting’ being inflicted on the UK.
“The EU has just made a temporary tactical move in extending the grace period before the full provisions kick in, but that’s all part of the war in my view.
“Frost is now playing hard ball, and the attack on the UK is not looking good on the world stage. So expect a return to the heavy guns soon.”
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He also accused what he referred to as “the Remainer/Rejoiner power base” in the Civil Service, the House of Lords and the BBC” of blocking the triggering of Article 16 “quite legally within the NIP”.
He explained: “The Brexiteers’ fear is that this power base continues to block the appropriate defensive political action needed to prevent NI becoming the next Kosovo – as a half way house to the united Ireland desired by the EU and Biden.
“At the expense of civil war in Northern Ireland and the destruction of the GFA.”
He warned: “I am trying to look at the big geopolitical picture and seeing the fate of NI, and a humiliated UK, if Boris caves in to the EU – as is his record.”
In a statement issued yesterday, Lord Frost confirmed the UK was extending the so-called “grace period” prior to the introduction of checks on some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
He explained: “The Government proposed to the EU on 23 July a ‘standstill’ arrangement to maintain the operation of the Protocol on the current basis, and to pause current legal actions, to provide space for discussions on those proposals.
“The EU announced on 27 July that it was not, at that stage, moving to the next stage of the legal proceedings it started in March. There have since been initial technical talks between the UK and the EU.
“These will continue in order to determine whether a constructive process can be established for discussing and addressing the issues identified with the Protocol.”
Lord Frost added: “Following on from this, to provide space for potential further discussions, and to give certainty and stability to businesses while any such discussions proceed, the Government will continue to operate the Protocol on the current basis.
“This includes the grace periods and easements currently in force. Operational and other guidance will be updated to reflect this approach.
“We will ensure that reasonable notice is provided in the event that these arrangements were to change, to enable businesses and citizens to prepare.”
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