Frost issues threat to EU over ‘hysterical’ Brexit row – vows to ‘defend UK vigorously’

Lord Frost vows to defend UK's position 'vigorously'

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Lord Frost has argued the bloc’s decision to briefly override a provision aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland to control vaccines had “created a new and very difficult situation”. The Conservative peer sparked anger in Brussels after unilaterally extending a series of “grace periods” designed to ease trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain post-Brexit. This is because Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market for goods.

While speaking in the House of Lords, Lord Frost insisted the UK Government was determined to defend the UK vigorously.

He was supported by Lord Caine who insisted the EU was behaving hysterically.

Lord Frost said: “These measures are lawful and consistent with the progressive and good faith interpretation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Lord Caine also called on Lord Frost to give more assurances that the UK would not back down to the EU.

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He said: “I very strongly support actions taken by the Government in recent days as a necessary proportionate and lawful response to the situation.

“Does my noble friend agree that the somewhat hysterical reaction of the EU demonstrates yet again their one-sided inability to recognise legitimate unionist concerns and to see the Belfast agreement through?

“This is an agreement that their intransigence now threatens to undermine.

“Can the noble friend assure me he will robustly defend any legal action brought by the EU and that this unionist Government will take whatever measures are necessary to guarantee Northern Ireland’s place as an integral part of the UK internal market?”

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Lord Frost replied: “We will of course consider very carefully any legal process launched by the EU. We will defend our position vigorously.

“The protocol is explicit in respecting the territorial integrity of the UK and we will ensure that is sustained.”

Remainer Lord Adonis then defended the EU’s actions and insisted Lord Frost had been antagonising the EU.

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Lord Adonis said: “Can I join in on welcoming the noble Lord to the House very warmly.

“Does he accept that behind this trade crisis in Northern Ireland is his own hostility towards the European Union?

“This is because it has taken Britain out of the customs union and the single market.”

Lord Frost insisted the UK was prepared to progress without the restraints of the EU and would prosper with more control.

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