Brexit news: Lord Frost handed over a clear red line he “must not give in” on | Politics | New
Professor David Blake was speaking at the end of a tumultuous week in which Lord Frost and his European Commission counterpart, Maros Sefcovic, gave speeches on the subject. Lord Frost used his on Tuesday to demand that the bloc agree to remove the ECJ’s jurisdiction over the protocol, which aims to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the market unique.
Unionist critics believe this has resulted in a border along the Irish Sea, driving a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Mr Sefcovic made several key concessions in his speech – but insisted that the ECJ would retain its role.
The City economics professor, University of London, told Express.co.uk: “Boris Johnson and David Frost must not back down on this critical point.
“Not only must a revised protocol remove any role for the ECJ, but it must also introduce ‘Smart Border 2.0’ technology at the border.
He warned: “Otherwise there will never be a real Brexit. In addition, there will be constant tension over Northern Ireland – the EU continually interfering in our internal affairs. “
Neither Lord Frost nor Mr Johnson could back down and allow the EU to “water down” the command document released in July, Professor Blake said, even in light of concessions such as the EU’s retreat in the so-called “sausage war”. “by allowing” national identity goods “such as sausages to enter Northern Ireland.
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Professor Blake added: “The EU is offering nothing more now than the ‘maximum facilitation’ proposal for a post-Brexit customs deal that the UK proposed in 2018.
“This included the acceleration of imports and exports from recognized authorized economic operators and the bilateral development of innovative IT solutions that prevent freight vehicles from stopping for border inspections. The EU refused.
The EU remained committed to pressuring the UK government to implement the protocol while rejecting any consideration of “alternative arrangements”, as required by Article 13 (8) of the protocol, a stressed Professor Blake.
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He cited as an example the idea of “Smart Border 2.0” proposed by Lars Karlsson, former director of the World Customs Organization and Deputy Director General of Swedish Customs.
Such a system would create a frictionless ultra-high-tech invisible border between Northern Ireland and the Republic – involving automatic number plate recognition, GPS tracking, radio frequency identification, specialist smartphone apps and electronic passports.
Professor Blake said: “UK and Irish customs officials started work on a simplified electronic system that would have handled all imports and exports, as well as a solution to stop illegal cross-border trade in exactly the same way they did. ‘had done with other illegal transactions, such as red diesel.
“But Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, on instructions from the EU, halted these talks.”
He explained: “This is because the EU does not see the NIP as a way to keep the peace in Northern Ireland, but as a tool to force the UK to follow EU regulations on animal and plant health and on state aid in perpetuity.
“The EU wants to interpret the Protocol as it sees fit, then force the UK to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice (i.e. the EU’s own court) to rule on the validity of the EU interpretation.
“It is totally unacceptable.
Any dispute over the protocol must be referred to independent international arbitration, as would happen in the event of a disagreement over the trade and cooperation agreement that handles the rest of the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU. .
Lord Frost said on Friday the European Union had taken encouraging steps to resolve a dispute over the Protocol.
Speaking after a meeting with Mr Sefcovic, he said: “I think the EU has definitely made an effort to go beyond what it usually does in these areas.
“And we’re pretty encouraged by that.
“But obviously there is still a pretty big gap. And that’s what we need to work on today and in the future.”