Over the weekend, it was reported the UK's Brexit minister Lord Frost was ready to make clear to EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic that removing the Eu
Over the weekend, it was reported the UK’s Brexit minister Lord Frost was ready to make clear to EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic that removing the European Court of Justice’s oversight of the Protocol is a ‘red line’ for Downing Street. Simon Coveney reacted furiously, insisting the European Union is “working seriously to resolve practical issues with the implementation of Protocol” but accusing the UK of creating a red line “they know the EU can’t move on”.
He tweeted late on Saturday night: “EU working seriously to resolve practical issues with the implementation of Protocol – so UKG creates a new “red line” barrier to progress, that they know EU can’t move on. Are we surprised?
“Real Q: Does UKG actually want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations?”
The scathing attack has sparked a backlash, with LBC presenter Iain Dale accusing Mr Coveney of inflaming an issue “which is already on a knife-edge”
He wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “Given the issues facing Ireland, the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, you might have thought that Ireland’s top diplomat would be careful not to inflame an issue which is already on a knife-edge. Not a bit of it.
“At close to midnight on Saturday he tweeted: ‘Does the UK actually want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations?’
“This, after the UK’s Brexit minister, Lord Frost, had reiterated Britain’s view that the European Court of Justice should not have jurisdiction over the protocol.
“Frost, perhaps unwisely, responded in the early hours of Sunday morning, saying that the issue should come as no surprise to Coveney since it was stated clearly in the command paper the Government had published on July 21.”
Mr Dale claimed the Irish Foreign Minister’s “political capital has diminished in recent months in the Republic”, adding he likely sees the Protocol as an “opportunity to rebuild his reputation both domestically and internationally”.
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In a furious further attack against Mr Coveney, the LBC presenter accused him of not caring if this “comes at the expense of the smooth operation of the protocol, or if his words wind up the unionist community in Northern Ireland”.
Mr Dale continued: “The trouble is that Coveney’s political capital has diminished in recent months in the Republic, and he no doubt sees the protocol issue as an opportunity to rebuild his reputation both domestically and internationally.
“He apparently cares not a jot if this comes at the expense of the smooth operation of the protocol, or if his words wind up the unionist community in Northern Ireland.
“Perhaps that’s his objective.”
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Just an hour after Mr Coveney had lashed out at Brexit Britain late on Saturday evening, Lord Frost responded with words of his own, warning there needs to be “significant change to the current situation if there is to be a positive outcome”.
The UK’s Brexit minister tweeted in the early hours of Sunday morning: “1. I prefer not to do negotiations by twitter, but since @simoncoveney has begun the process…
“The issue of governance & the CJEU is not new. We set out our concerns three months ago in our 21 July Command Paper.
“The problem is that too few people seem to have listened.
“2. We await proposals from @MarosSefcovic.
“We will look at them seriously & positively whatever they say. We will discuss them seriously and intensively.
“But there needs to be significant change to the current situation if there is to be a positive outcome.”