Boris Johnson’s new Minister in charge of Britain’s post-Brexit relations with the EU Lord Frost will confront Brussels after unionist fury at new trade restrictions between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Following the terms of Mr Johnson’s new EU trade deal, Northern Ireland remains tied to the European single market, which called for some regulatory checks on trade with Great Britain. These will increase from April 1 when the current grace period for a number of restrictions come to an end.
Lord Frost will confront the EU over its overly legalistic and heavy-handed interpretation of the new trade agreement, insiders have told the Daily Telegraph.
EU legislation has prompted outrage in Northern Ireland with unionists calling for the return of uninterrupted trade with Great Britain.
Graffiti has appeared across loyalist areas attacking the restrictions whilst customs officials were briefly forced to stop work earlier this month following threats. DUP leader Arlene Foster is calling for Britain to withdraw from the Northern Ireland protocol.
Last month, the EU threatened to suspend this in a row over coronavirus vaccine doses but later stopped back on the decision after the threat sparked outrage in London and Dublin.
Addressing Mr Johnson’s issues, Ms Foster, said, “He needs to set his sights on a long-term solution rather than sticking plasters. Whether it is the flow of parcels, supermarket goods, chilled meats or medicines, from GB to NI, the United Kingdom single market has been ruptured.”
Lord Frost was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister responsible for EU Relations earlier this week, taking the role from Michael Gove as Mr Johnson is said to be hoping for a harder approach.