Tony Connelly at RTE tweets comments from UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis, speaking at the EU-UK Forum after EU Commission Exec VP Maros Sefcovic gives a damning assessment of UK gov't actions regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol bill. Select comments below:
- "Despite the difficulties of the last few years, the United Kingdom and European Union are on the same side."
- "It makes no sense to put [cooperation] at risk over the NI protocol. "our overriding priority has been preserving peace and stability. The situation as it stands is undermining the GFA" there is no Executive as a direct result of the Protocol"
- "Problems include trade disruption and trade diversion, traders not able to benefit from advantages of those in the rest. We cannot allow this situation to continue, we must fix the problems and stabilise the situation in NI to allow the formation of an Executive"
- "Says the NI Protocol bill will fix practical problems that the protocol has created. "We're not scrapping the Protocol, we're protecting the elements that work, eg North South cooperation, the [Common Travel Area] and we're fixing those elements of the Protocol which do not work"
- "Ellis says it is "our clear view" the EU's proposals would increase the burden on citizens. "It is disappointing the proposals the EU published a fortnight ago are no different to the October Proposals"
- "Ellis says "our door is still open" to negotiations, but only if the EU agrees to change the Protocol..."