The foreign secretary said that every time the European Union came up with new proposals for the Northern Ireland Protocol, they were “rejected by the UK” before they were published.
Simon Coveney told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the dismissals are “more serious” this week, given the EU’s comprehensive settlement proposals.
He said this was being seen across the EU as “the same pattern, over and over again” by the UK.
In a post on Twitter over the weekend, he said the British government has done just that Creating a new ‘red line’ barrier to progress with regard to governance and the CJEU (European Court of Justice).
Mr Coveney said today that if the CJEU is a red line for the UK, “why did they sign the Protocol?”
He added that “there are no unionists or businessmen in Northern Ireland raising the issue” of the International Federation of Journalists.
The minister said the British government “appears to be changing the playing field – they know the EU cannot act on the European Courts of Justice”.
“The EU is trying to solve the problems, and the UK is rejecting solutions before they are published and asking for more,” Minister Tweet embed He said ahead of the publication of Britain’s exit proposals from the European Union this week | Read more coverage of Brexit: https://t.co/H8nCh4e8zJ pic.twitter.com/TPAJtlanlC
– RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 11, 2021
When asked if Saturday night’s tweet about the protocol was “not very diplomatic”, Mr Coveney replied: “I don’t think it was very diplomatic, but I don’t think it was too diplomatic that we brief the main British newspapers about a speech David Frost intends to give in Portugal tomorrow.” .
This, he said, was “essentially raising the bar” before the EU provided his sustenance, which he has been working on for many weeks and has been kept by the British side.
Coveney said it was “a bit rich” for Brexit Secretary David Frost to accuse him of raising issues on social media when he briefs British media.
He said he did not believe the British government would eventually destroy the protocol, but said Frost’s negotiating strategy was to wait for the EU to come up with compromise proposals, cash them out, then say they were insufficient and ask for more.
“The problem with that is that it may work in the short term, in terms of getting concessions from the EU, but at some point the EU will say enough.
“We can’t bargain anymore without fundamentally undermining the functioning of the protocol in the context of the EU’s single market integration and I think we’re very close to that point now.”
Coveney said he believed the UK wanted an eventual deal, but that it would have to make concessions as well.
The Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, said the role of the European Court of Justice “is of little practical importance to companies and individuals in Northern Ireland, whether they are unionists or nationalists.
“We want to help them improve trade flows to Britain as they requested and of course help them continue to get to [EU] By these rules, which are no less important. ”
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson told BBC Radio 1 in Ulster: “We want to see the EU put forward proposals that would remove the Irish maritime border and fully restore Northern Ireland’s place in the UK’s internal market.
“We recognize that separate arrangements will be required to ensure that goods traveling into the EU from the UK – whether through Northern Ireland or otherwise – meet EU standards.
“But for goods remaining within the UK – and travel from Britain to Northern Ireland – there is no reason to have customs checks which is why any proposals should remove that Irish sea border.”
Donaldson said he had not yet seen the latest EU proposals – due to be published on Wednesday – so he didn’t know if they would go “far enough”.
Asked about David Frost’s claim that the CJEU is a “red line”, he said the UK government had a view because it was “unfair for the EU court to be the final arbiter in the dispute process”.
He said the DUP had “concerns” about the EU court. “It’s a real issue that needs to be raised, I want to see it resolved.”
The Right Decision to Attend the Centenary Ceremony
Simon Coveney said he was going to celebrate Northern Ireland’s centenary “because the government asked me to and I think the government is making the right decision there”.
The ceremony takes place at St Patrick’s Basilica in Ireland in Armagh on October 21.
It is organized by leaders of the major Christian churches and will mark the centenary of the Partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tweet embed He said he believed attending an event at Co Armagh to celebrate the centenary of Northern Ireland and Partition on behalf of the government was ‘the right thing to do’ | Read more political coverage: https://t.co/CX4daVka3I pic.twitter.com/bdBR6qcrFK
– RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 11, 2021
Mr. Coveney said he respected President Michael D. Higgins’ right to decline that invitation and had spoken to him at length on the issue.
The president also acknowledges that the government is in a different situation, he said, adding that the service is “not a celebration and it is certainly not a celebration.”
Additional reporting: Tony Connelly
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