The Health Secretary told Sky: Looking forward, there should not be a role for the European Court of Justice in any part of the UK and that includes Northern Ireland. I think the Court has an over-legalistic approach to things. Lord Frost has been really clear about this with the speech he made this week. What is the next step towards the ECJ in Northern Ireland? Brussels insists it has gone to the limits when making concessions to the UK. The European Commission has laid out measures to slash 80 percent of regulatory checks and dramatically cut customs processes on the movement of goods, especially food and farming produce between Britain and the island of Ireland. The Government welcomed the announcement, signalling it wants intensive talks to follow the EU s proposals. However, at the same time, a Government spokesperson said there has to be significant changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement if there is to be a durable settlement EU experts were in Brussels today for talks with counterparts from the UK, while Brexit minister Lord Frost is expected in London today to meet EU Vice-President Maros Sefcovic to discuss ways to break the deadlock. European ambassador Jo o Vale de Almeida said Brussels isn t allowed to go further following Wednesday's propositions. We went to the limits of what we can do to address the problems of Northern Ireland because we care for Northern Ireland, he told the BBC. He stressed that the EU cannot accede to a key British demand to remove the role of the European Court of Justice ECJ in overseeing the protocol. Without the European Court of Justice, there will not be a single market. It is the referee of the single market, he said.
Lord Frost says that the role of European judges is something the UK cannot accept. But in a sign that he may be willing to compromise, he told peers on Wednesday that he has never used the term redlines in his negotiations. Under the terms of the protocol, which was decided by the UK and EU as part of the 2020 withdrawal agreement, the ECJ would be the final arbitrator for any future trade dispute between the two parties about the operation of the protocol. The UK wants to replace this provision and remove the requirement with independent arbitration process. One option proposed by Brussels is a reduced role for European judges. Under the plan, disputes would go to an independent arbitration panel with the ECJ being asked to interpret narrow matters of EU law as a last resort for cases on which dispute resolution has failed. The package of proposals already set out by the EU would eliminate the prospect of certain products, including sausages, from being shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.