Frost accuses EU of taking purist approach to movement of chilled meats.

The European Union should consider changing its food safety rules to accommodate British demands if it wants the Northern Ireland protocol to work, Brexit minister David Frost has told MPs. Lord Frost told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that the EU was applying sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules meant for “global third party trade” to the very different circumstances of Northern Ireland.

“They could change their rules in the context of Northern Ireland if they wanted to,” he said.

“In the circumstances where the politics are so delicate, and we all say we are trying to support the Good Friday Agreement, and take the EU on their word on that, it would seem sensible to look at these things in a more reasonable way.”

Lord Frost acknowledged that the protocol he negotiated with the EU in 2019 states that the EU’s universal customs code should apply to Northern Ireland.

But, he said, the agreement was not being applied in the way it was intended by the negotiators and the EU was ignoring its requirement that checks and controls in ports in the North should be minimised.

He accused the EU of taking a purist approach to the movement of chilled meats including sausages from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after a grace period ends at the end of this month.

“We have asked and suggested to the EU that the right way forward would be to agree to extend the grace period, at least for a bit, to provide a bit of a breathing space for the current discussions to continue and try and find solutions.

“I still hold out some hope that they might agree to that because it seems a very narrow point to take such a purist view about. We are not having much progress but there is a little bit of time left before that,” he said.

“It would seem to me a pity to make this negotiation, that is already pretty complex and tense, more so by being very purist about that, but there we are.”

Lord Frost repeated the British government’s threat to take further unilateral action, including a suspension of the protocol by triggering Article 16, if the EU did not agree to bend the rules.

British prime minister Boris Johnson issued the same warning during prime minister’s questions later, as did Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis answering questions from MPs.

“If we get the protocol to work in a proper, flexible, pragmatic way, it creates an opportunity for Northern Ireland. But we also have to be cognisant of the fact that, at the moment, it is causing real disruption and real problems for businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland, across the whole community, and it has an impact on people’s sense of identity in the Unionist community,” Mr Lewis said.

“We have to accept that, respond to it and deal with the protocol in a pragmatic way. That is why I think it is so important that the EU engages with people in Northern Ireland to get a real understanding of why Northern Ireland is such an important part of our United Kingdom. ”

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Dan Bongino blasts Biden's Cuba response: 'Biggest bunt' in US politics.

Dan Bongino blasts Biden's Cuba response: 'Biggest bunt' in US politics.

Fox News contributor Dan Bongino sounds off on protesters urging the president to take a tougher stance on Cuba and ethical concerns surrounding Hunter Biden's art sale. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Cha...

Morning News NOW Full Broadcast - July 26

Morning News NOW Full Broadcast - July 26

A fourth wave of infections has sparked as cases of Covid-19 spike in all 50 states, Italy is set to roll out a “green pass” vaccine certificate to persuade the unvaccinated to get a shot, and the 9/11 museum debuts a powerful PSA ahead of the 20t...

U.S. hoping for comeback following slow start to Olympics

U.S. hoping for comeback following slow start to Olympics

Team USA got off to a slow start in the opening weekend of the Tokyo Olympics, trailing China in overall gold medals. Jamie Yuccas joins "CBSN AM" from Tokyo with the latest on the Summer Games. CBSN is CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news servic...

Pelosi appoints another GOP member of Congress to Capitol attack committee.

Pelosi appoints another GOP member of Congress to Capitol attack committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed another Republican, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, to the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. CBS News congressional reporter Zak Hudak joined "CBSN AM" to discuss the latest deve...

World View: Deadly landslides in India; Tunisian president ousts prime minister.

World View: Deadly landslides in India; Tunisian president ousts prime minister.

Flooding and landslides have killed at least nine people in India. Meanwhile, unrest and protests in Tunisia over the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the president firing the prime minister and suspending parliament. C...

Kenya's First Female Prisons Boss Tapped to Lead Training Initiative.

Kenya's First Female Prisons Boss Tapped to Lead Training Initiative.

Assistant commissioner of prisons Wanini Kireri’s leadership style has been hailed as humane but firm