Lord Frost claims 'EU doesn't understand history in Northern Ireland' in call to change Brexit deal

The former Brexit chief negotiator believes that the Northern Ireland Protocol could have worked with “delicate handling"

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Lord David Frost believes the EU “doesn’t understand history in Northern Ireland”.

Lord Frost, a former Brexit chief negotiator believes that the Northern Ireland Protocol, a part of the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU, could have worked with “delicate handling".

The Protocol requires checks on some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, something unionists say undermines Northern Ireland’s position in the UK.

It comes after nationalists Sinn Fein, a party supporting the reunification of Ireland, won the most seats in the Stormont assembly, while the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) finished second.

Lord David Frost
Lord David Frost
Lord Frost (far left) was a key part of the Brexit deal
Lord Frost (far left) was a key part of the Brexit deal

Speaking on GB News, Lord Frost told Nigel Farage: “It was a deal that could have worked with delicate handling on both sides, sensitivity to the need for cross community consent in Northern Ireland.

“That was always going to require a degree of sensitivity, that hasn’t been there.”

He continued: “Much of the EU doesn’t understand the niceties and the details and history in Northern Ireland.

“And in the end, I think they prioritised protecting their own single market over the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and that is the problem.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of how we got here, the Protocol has to change or disappear, I think there is now no option.

“Much better to do it by negotiation if the EU will do it, but if you read in the paper they’ve just said they ever will change their mandate and negotiate it with us.”

His comments come after European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic has urged the UK Government to "dial down the rhetoric" on the Protocol.

Mr Sefcovic said that the EU had "already shown a lot of flexibility by proposing impactful, durable solutions and we stand ready to continue discussions".

He said: "We need the UK Government to dial down the rhetoric, be honest about the deal they signed and agree to find solutions within its framework."

He added that the EU "absolutely no interest in interfering in the UK’s internal affairs," before saying the UK should show “genuine determination and good faith to make the Protocol work, rather than looking for ways to erode it," he told Politico.