Simon Coveney accuses Lord Frost of obstructing talks, as Twitter spat escalates
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said Boris Johnson’s government had “dismissed” the EU’s proposals aimed at easing trading issues before they had even been published.
In a deepening row with Mr Johnson’s Brexit minister Lord David Frost, Mr Coveney also said it is a “bit rich” for Britain’s negotiator to accuse him of causing problems on Twitter.
“Each time that the EU comes forward with new ideas and new proposals to try and solve problems, they are dismissed before they are released – and that’s happening again this week,” Mr Coveney told RTE on Monday.
彼が追加した: “David Frost accuses me of raising issues on social media. It’s a bit rich, 率直に言って, because he is briefing British media effectively to say, '上手, the EU can make the changes that they need to make, but actually it’s not enough, we want more’.”
Lord Frost has released extracts of a speech he is due to make in Lisbon on Tuesday, saying the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has created a “deep imbalance” in the way the Northern Ireland protocol operates.
The EU Commission, which has already rejected outright UK’s call to end the role of the ECJ – since it was agreed in the deal signed by the UK – will publish proposals later this week aimed at smoothing trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Mr Coveney said the measures will be “very far reaching” and condemned the UK for trying to put new obstacles in the way of compromise over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“The truth is they know the EU can’t move on this issue (the role of the ECJ), yet they’re still asking for it … At some point the EU will say enough, we cannot compromise more and I think we’re very close to that point now.”
The Irish foreign minister added: “This is being seen across the European Union as the same pattern over and over again – the EU tries to solve problems, the UK dismisses the solutions before they’re even published and asks for more.”
It follows an angry Twitter spat between Mr Coveney and Lord Frost on Sunday. Ireland’s foreign minister questioned whether UK ministers “actually want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations?」
Lord Frost replied to Mr Coveney that the issue of the ECJ “is not new”, 追加する: “The problem is that too few people seem to have listened.” He added: “I prefer not to do negotiations by Twitter.”
The EU Commission’s formal proposals to protocol issues – due to be published on Wednesday – will include an exception for “national identity food products,” allowing sausages and other meat products to enter NI from GB after the end of grace periods, による ポリティコ.
EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said last week that “99.9 per cent” of conversations he had had on a recent trip to Northern Ireland concerned issues related to customs checks, food and plant safety, and the supply of medicines from Britain.
The ECJ was mentioned just once and neither by the business community or civic society, the EU chief said.
Mr Sefcovic’s view was reiterated by Mr Coveney and politicians from the Sinn Fein and SDLP parties, and the cross-community Alliance Party.
Sinn Fein accused the UK government of shifting the goalposts and using “dead cat” tactics by demanding the removal of the ECJ role in the protocol.
Declan Kearney, a Sinn Fein minister at Stormont, questioned whether the UK was throwing a “dead cat” on the negotiating table because the EU was about to “call their bluff” by tabling practical proposals.
But the Democratic Unionist Party (後) has threatened to pull out of the region’s power-sharing government unless major changes are made to the protocol, and it has expressed concerns over the ECJ – saying it preferred some new form of independent arbitration process.
しかしながら, DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson also welcomed what he described as a “change in tone from the EU” and told the BBC that he would judge the forthcoming proposals in the round.