G7: Leaders gather on beach for family photo
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Jayne Adye was speaking after widespread reports that EU officials were trying to persuade the Prime Minister to remove Lord Frost, formerly the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, from his cabinet role. Lord Frost is understood to have ruffled feathers in Brussels with his combative approach, especially with respect to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which critics claim has resulted in a border down the Irish Sea.
The issue has been in the news this week, with Yael Lampert, a senior official at the US embassy, reportedly telling chief Lord Frost the UK Government was “inflaming” tensions in Northern Ireland.
Ms Adye, director of the grassroots, cross-Party campaign group Get Britain Out, said: “These complaints show how little the European Union and US President Joe Biden have been paying attention since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
“They simply do not seem to recognise the only option the EU has proposed – signing up to dynamic alignment to EU regulations – would be an insult to the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom.”
Britain was no longer a member of the bloc and it was high time the EU – and Mr Biden – understood this, Ms Adye said.
She added: “Every time the EU complain about Lord Frost and his commitment to Brexit, I am even more convinced he is the right man for the job.
“The Prime Minister must continue his support for Lord Frost and make sure there is no chink in our armour for the EU to exploit.”
“The EU’s approach to dealing with Lord Frost makes one thing very clear to me – they thought Michael Gove was a pushover who would capitulate to their wishes.
“Now, with Frost remaining strong, they are finding themselves facing a brick wall willing to call their bluff.
“I certainly know which kind of negotiator I would prefer to be advocating the priorities of Brexiteers.”
Referring to events in Cornwall, Ms Adye said: “With the Prime Minister taking Lord Frost to the G7 Summit, where yet more interferences will be anticipated, perhaps Frost could even sit down with President Biden and explain the President’s grave misunderstandings of both the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Good Friday Agreement.
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“This is not about President Biden having a fraction of a drop of Irish blood in his veins from many years back, this is about maintaining our United Kingdom – and our Sovereignty.
“The European Union has played games with the sensitivity over the Irish Border issue ever since we voted to Leave in the 2016 EU Referendum. Now the consequences of this are coming home to roost.”
The United Kingdom would not be divided by the European Union’s “petty games”, not would it stay under the control of the EU, Ms Adye said.
She concluded: “So it’s about time Brussels and other world leaders – like US President Joe Biden – accept this and stopped trying to interfere in the United Kingdom’s internal affairs.”
Speaking to the BBC today Mr Johnson, who will hold talks with EU leaders over the course of the G7 summit, told the BBC: “You will understand that there are ways of enforcing the protocol, ways of making it work, that may be excessively burdensome.
“I just give you one statistic: 20 percent of the checks conducted across the whole of the perimeter of the EU are now done in Northern Ireland, three times as many as happen in Rotterdam.”
Mr Johnson also denied reports of a rift between himself and the President, saying: “The president didn’t say anything of the kind.
“But what I think you can certainly say is that everybody – and that includes me, includes our friends in Brussels, it includes Washington – everybody has a massive interest in making sure that we keep the essential symmetry of the Good Friday Agreement, we keep the balance.”
Speaking to Sky News, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Mr Johnson was eager to raise the protocol with the president so he could be “very clear on our position” but said the pair “didn’t linger on” the issue.
Mr Read said the Prime Minister had explained that “we want a flexible, pragmatic approach”.
He stressed: “But for that to happen the EU must be less purist, more pragmatic and more flexible in the implementation of it.
“The ball is very much in the EU’s court in relation to that.”
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