Bit late to play victim! Brexiteers shame Ireland after UK accused of strange threat
Brexit: Barnier warns UK against questioning deal stance
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Downing Street has toughened its stance on the implementation of the Protocol in a bid to force European Union into further concessions by warning of possible disruption to peace in the region. In a joint article in the Irish Times at the weekend, Brexit minister Lord Frost and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted, while the new extension of the grace period on chilled meats was “welcome”, it only “addresses only a small part of the underlying problem”.
The ministers warned the deal risks “damage” to the Good Friday Agreement while in another attack on Sunday, Lord Frost accused the EU of “lurching from crisis to crisis” on the Protocol.
But Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney hit back, claiming the comments were a “very strange way to make friends and build a partnership” in a week when the EU had offered concessions.
He told RTE’s This Week: “This is a week when the EU has moved, has shown generosity, has responded to requests from the British Government and from leaders in Northern Ireland.
“And at the same time, the British Government shows no generosity at all, in terms of even acknowledging that there were advances this week that could build trust and relationships.”
Mr Coveney concluded: “Many in the EU are interpreting the UK’s response as essentially saying: ‘Look, concessions don’t matter. What is required now is to dismantle elements of the protocol piece by piece.’
“That is going to cause huge problems.”
But the latest warning from Mr Coveney has sparked a furious response from Brexiteers, with one raging: “The ROI was willing for the EU to weaponise the border, so it’s a bit late to start playing the hard done by victim, when the person you screwed retaliates.”
A second Brexiteer fumed: “Simon Coveney said the comments were a ‘very strange way to make friends and build a partnership’.
“He should have heeded his own advice.
“Coveney et al, have done all they can to destroy any relationship we once had, in the pursuit of pleasing the EU.”
Another person said: “The UK should do what’s best for the UK as Brussels has shown time and again it cannot be trusted.
“It’s agenda is malevolent towards us. Move on.
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“As for Coveney……a nobody in the EU scheme of things.”
A fourth reader added: “These endless back-footed comments from Coveney merely highlight the futility of being in the EU.
“Just piling on the agony for themselves.”
Last week, the EU agreed to a ceasefire with Britain by agreeing to extend a grace period for shipments of certain meat products from mainland United Kingdom to Northern Ireland.
The grace period on chilled meat products had been due to end last Thursday.
It would have meant British non-frozen sausages or mince would not have been able to cross the Irish Sea because of a ban from the bloc on such products from third countries.
Britain had called for an additional three months to enable the two sides to find a solution to the trade difficulties over Northern Ireland.
Lord Frost said: “The chilled meats issue is only one of a very large number of problems with the way the protocol is currently operating, and solutions need to be found with the EU to ensure it delivers on its original aims.”
He added the UK will work “energetically” with Brussels as attempts to find a solution continue.
An EU official also warned: “Where the UK disrespects its agreements with us and acts unilaterally, we will be tough.
“Of course, it’s possible to have good news stories when it comes to U.K.-EU relations.”
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