GB News: EU savaged for 'unreasonable' Brexit trade stance
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Tory MP Theresa Villiers argued the European Union was not being pragmatic in the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol row. While speaking on GB News, she argued the protocol should be scrapped as an end to the grace period would result in more “unjustified” checks by the bloc. She insisted by scrapping the N.I protocol, a replacement arrangement could be agreed that works for both the UK and EU.
Ms Villiers said: “We have signed up to the Northern Ireland protocol so every effort must be made to try and make it work.
“The reality is that international trade rules and the EU’s treaty obligations do require them to take an evidence-based and proportionate approach to border-related checks and controls.
“There isn’t any sort of proportionate justification for the kind of checks that they are already imposing in relation to the Northern Ireland protocol for food.
“It would get a great deal worse if the grace period, which is currently in place, were to be scrapped.”
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Ms Villiers then took aim at the European Union for preventing a progressive solution.
She said: “I believe a key problem here is the EU is not being pragmatic.
“It is implementing or asking for implementation of the protocol in an unreasonable way.
“In the fact of that, I think we do need to start fresh.
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“It was always envisioned in that withdrawal agreement that the protocol could be replaced by a different set of arrangements in the longer term.”
Former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier called on the EU to honour the Northern Ireland protocol.
While speaking on BBC Newsnight this week he said he and Boris Johnson eventually came to an agreement.
He said: “Finally we found an agreement with Boris Johnson.
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“Not against him, not without him, but with him.
“And once again, every word, every sentence was negotiated.”
He added: “It cannot be possible to drop this protocol, because it’s the only way to find a solution for all the problems created by Brexit,” he continued.
“What creates problems in Ireland is Brexit, nothing else.”
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