Brexit: Bruno Bonnell says he can see ‘no success’ in UK economy
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The Prime Minister was accused of trying to divide EU member states and using the UK’s row with France over post-Brexit fishing rights to win over Brussels on Northern Ireland protocol demands.
The attack came from Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, a French MEP from the Renew Europe group, who warned Mr Johnson would face the “ripple effects” of unfaithfully implementing the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
She told Politico: “Boris Johnson tried to pick off EU member states throughout the negotiations, and failed.
“I am confident he will be faced with the same unity when discussing the technical implementation of the TCA.
“France already has explicit support from a number of member states, and all the 27 know that letting the UK Government unfaithfully implement the TCA on fisheries will have ripple effects on the rest of the agreement.”
Brexit Minister Lord Frost will hold talks with one of Brussels’ top officials as efforts continue to resolve disputes over Northern Ireland and fishing rights.
Lord Frost will meet Maros Sefcovic with the UK and European Union still at loggerheads over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The meeting follows discussions between Lord Frost and France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune on Thursday aimed at calming tensions in the dispute over post-Brexit licences to fish in UK waters.
No breakthroughs were announced after the meeting between the pair.
But Downing Street said it is confident France will not resume its threats to increase checks or block British boats from French ports in the “coming days”.
The diplomatic storm was triggered by France threatening sanctions over what it perceives as a refusal to issue licences to its trawlers to operate in UK waters.
Following the latest meeting, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the French government had assured it will not immediately restore the threats as talks continue.
“They’ve made it clear to us they’re not planning to introduce them in the short-term. Both sides are keen to have further discussions,” he said.
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Lord Frost’s meeting in Brussels with European Commission vice-president Mr Sefcovic is likely to focus on efforts to bridge the gap between the two sides on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
To avoid a hard border with Ireland, the protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland inside the EU’s single market for goods, resulting in some checks for products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain, which left the single market.
Lord Frost has claimed the conditions for using Article 16 – allowing parts of the deal to be suspended – have been met because of the difficulties being caused.
The UK also wants an end to the European Court of Justice’s oversight role, something that Brussels has said is impossible.
Lord Frost has said he expects the issues around the protocol to be settled “one way or another” this autumn.
Senior EU figures are hopeful that the use of Article 16 of the protocol can be avoided.
European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans told ITV’s Peston that Brussels was “bending over backwards” to reach an agreement with the UK.
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