Tory Peer Lord Frost stated the “inheritance” from the earlier Tory Government was a “significant” a part of the problem
Image: VICKIE FLORES/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Tory Brexit chief Lord Frost has blamed chaos in Northern Ireland on his predecessors under Theresa May.
The Conservative peer and Brexit minister was grilled in individual by meeting members on Stormont’s Executive Office Committee, which is scrutinising points arising from Brexit, on Friday.
Lord Frost argued that the issues with the post-Brexit settlement that has induced a commerce barrier within the Irish Sea are largely right down to the EU’s implementation of the deal he helped dealer.
But he argued that the Protocol may have been higher negotiated if it weren’t for the work achieved by the group of Boris Johnson’s predecessor as prime minister.
DUP member Christopher Stalford quoted Mrs May’s former chief of workers, Lord Barwell, who has claimed the Mr Johnson’s Government “knew it was a bad deal” however supposed to “wriggle out of it later”.
Mr Stalford stated that Lord Frost had inherited “a dog’s breakfast of a deal, adding: “You’ve been left to wash up the mess have not you?”
Lord Frost responded: “We intend to implement what we signed as much as however it’s the very fact of implementation that is inflicting the issue.
“I would say that it was the inheritance that we inherited from the previous Government and from the previous negotiating team that has been a significant part of the difficulty and the reason the Protocol is shaped as it is is because we had a particular inheritance from the previous team who could not get their deal, rightly in my view, through Parliament.”
He added: “Unfortunately we were not able to go back to scratch and do things in a different way and I think the previous team are to a very large degree responsible for some of the infelicities in this Protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement that we might be better without but unfortunately we are where we are.”
Lord Frost argued that it’s unreasonable to explain the Protocol as a “definitive text” with no additional discussions round it required.
“I don’t think it’s right to look at the Protocol as a sort of definitive text that was there in October 2019 and there’s nothing more to say. It’s very clear from reading the text that that’s not the case,” he stated.
“For example, the whole concept of goods at risk, which is obviously at the core of some of the problems in movements between GB and Northern Ireland.
“It’s not affordable to say, on condition that the state of affairs has modified in varied methods and on condition that components of the Protocol remained to be labored out, that it’s a definitive textual content and as of October 2019 that is it and there is nothing extra to say.”