EU calls on EU to draw the poison from ties.
Says would consider EU proposals, but might not work Adds EU para 6, more Frost comment para 10 LISBON, Oct 12 Reuters - British Brexit minister David Frost made an impassioned plea for the European Union to allow for significant changes to post-Brexit rules governing trade with Northern Ireland, saying only that could draw the poison from their relations.
A day before Brussels London is expected to introduce its proposals to solve a standoff over part of the Brexit divorce deal, Frost warned Brussels that it might unilaterally waive some of the terms of its agreement if the bloc failed to budge.
In a speech that was part of Scotland's 2016 vote to leave the EU and part accusation that Brussels was all but purposefully trying to further complicate relations, Frost again appealed for resolution to a problem which has run since months https: www.reuters.com In short, let's try to get back to normal, he told an audience of EU diplomats and reporters in Portugal's capital Lisbon.
With some effort of will, we could still be in a position where the poison is removed from this issue totally and drawn from the diplomatic top table once and for all. The European Commission has said it will not comment on Frost's speech as soon as it outlines its proposals.
In 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed up for the so called Northern Ireland Protocol but has since argued it was agreed in haste and is no longer working on the people of Northern Ireland.
For months, Frost has called on Brussels to allow some changes to the protocol to ease trade in some goods between Britain and Northern Ireland, but he stepped up the pressure on Tuesday, trying to coax and threaten Brussels to offer this on Wednesday.
The EU is expected to unveil its package in response to a set of proposals presented by the UK in July, which outline London's desire to rework parts of the protocol governing trade and the role of the European Court of Justice ECJ Asked about the package of proposals, Frost said: What we hear about it is interesting, we will talk about it even though I fear it may not do the job first round. Britain hopes a short period of intensive talks could solve the problems but the EU has repeatedly said it would not renegotiate the protocol and criticised Britain for reneging on an agreement signed in good faith by both sides.
On Monday, an Irish Foreign Minister said Simon Coveney knew full well that Brussels could not make moves on the ECJ. At some point, the EU will say enough, we cannot compromise more and I think we're very close to that point now, he said.
However Frost again said the protocol was causing unforeseen friction for some goods and was raising fears about fragile peace in Northern Ireland, especially when the Good Friday Agreement broke decades of violence between mostly Protestant nationalists and Catholic unionists, or loyalists.
The EU would say to the EU that the protocol - ed in historic urgency in time of great uncertainty can never be improved on, says he.
So I repeat, to conclude - let us both agree on a better way forward.