European Commission VP: EU will do utmost to protect peace in Northern Ireland
Unionists believe that checks carried out on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland jeopardise the integrity of the UK – by creating a de facto border in the Irish Sea.
As a result, the DUP has called for the Northern Ireland protocol to be scrapped and for frictionless trade to resume. However, Mr Sefcovic and the EU have made it clear that the protocol will remain in place to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
A “Swiss-style” model – in which checks are not necessary because animal and plant regulations are aligned – is being considered as a potential solution to the trade disruptions.
In other Brexit-related news, David Frost, the UK’s top negotiator in Brussels has been appointed to Cabinet. He will be the minister for relations with the EU.
EU’s Sefcovic to meet with Northern Irish business leaders
Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president, will meet with Northern Irish business leaders on Thursday to discuss post-Brexit trade arrangements.
The DUP called last month for the Northern Ireland protocol to be scrapped, as the party thinks checks over the Irish Sea threaten the constitutional unity of the UK. The EU has insisted this will not happen, as the protocol is designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 08:22
PM gives Brexit negotiator David Frost a Cabinet position
The prime minister has appointed his chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, as minister for relations with the European Union.
Among other tasks, the hardline Brexiteer, who was made a peer last year, will oversee the implementation of December’s agreement with the EU.
His appointment to Cabinet brings one of Boris Johnson’s closest advisers to the heart of the government’s policy on Europe.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:
Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 07:58
Morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling politics coverage.
Rory Sullivan18 February 2021 07:54