'We have our own discussions!' Lord Frost blasts Biden govt leaks attacking Brexit Britain


Answering questions in the House of Lords, the minister said London and Washington were close allies who should not rely on talking to the media to relay messages. His remarks came after a US newspaper said President Biden had told officials to urge Mr Johnson not to do “anything that would jeopardise” the Good Friday Agreement.

It added: “Pressure from the American President may cause Mr Johnson to think twice about provoking another destabilising clash with Brussels.”

Drawing attention to the article in Parliament, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Ludford described the remarks as “interesting” and asked if the Government was “really going to antagonise what it loves to describe as its closest ally”.

Hitting back on the comments, Lord Frost said: “We have as a Government our our dialogue with the US government that doesn’t depend on messages in the New York Times.

“I would refer back to the statement made by the Prime Minister when he was in Washington last month.

READ MORE ON OUR BREXIT LIVE BLOG

“He noted that President Biden and himself were completely at one on the importance of the protecting of the Good Friday Agreement.”

Lord Frost has spent the last week locked in negotiations with his EU counterpart over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The UK is looking for a complete renegotiation of the mechanism which was included as part of the 2019 withdrawal agreement.

The Government says the EU has been overly strict in the implementation of customs checks on goods travelling from Britain to Northern Ireland, and says the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing deal is unsustainable.

In July Lord Frost published his plans to rewrite aspects of the Protocol, with Brussels publishing its own plan last week.

“Intense” talks are now underway to try and find a way forward, with the UK warning it will trigger Article 16 of the treaty – the legal means of suspending aspects of the deal – if a solution is not found.

DON’T MISS:
Brexit countdown: France readies sanctions for UK in fishing row [UPDATE]
New Zealand trade deal sparks fury from UK farmers – ‘Extremely unfair!’ [REACTION]
Gloating Remainers mock UK over festival’s ‘grow-your-own veg’ plans [LATEST]

The New York Times said Mr Biden has taken a close personal interest in the talks.

“In recent days, unprompted, Mr Biden asked his staff for an update on the negotiations between Britain and the European Union over trade arrangements in Northern Ireland,” according to the newspaper.

“Mr Biden’s deep political and familial ties to Ireland set him apart from his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, who was an avid supporter of Brexit and encouraged Mr Johnson’s tangles with Brussels.

“It also makes the United States an important offstage player in the latest chapter of the long-running Brexit saga.”

During Mr Johnson’s trip to Washington last month, Mr Biden told the media he felt “very strongly” about the Protocol.

He said: “We spent an enormous amount of time and effort, the United States, it was a major bipartisan effort made.

“And I would not at all like to see, nor I might add would many of my Republican colleagues like to see, a change in the Irish accords, the end result having a closed border in Ireland.”

Unionists argue the complete opposite and say the Protocol in its current form is itself undermining the Good Friday Agreement and must be changed to protect peace.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.