Lord Frost proposed a system whereby goods remaining in Northern Ireland could be treated differently to those moving to the Republic. Speaking on Sunday, Mr Sefcovic rejected the proposal. He also claimed the EU cannot undo Brexit despite threats to trigger Article 16.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, he said: “Would the UK accept not to have the overview of what’s coming to the UK market? Would they accept it? I don’t think so.
“And you just simply have to understand that if something is coming to the EU single market that we have to have an overview.”
Lord Frost has lambasted opposite number Maros Sefcovic over the EU’s petty refusal to allow English oaks to be transported to Northern Ireland to be planted in honour of the Queen’s Platinum anniversary next year.
And the Brexit minister admitted recent trips to the North had filled him with “deep concern” at the situation – while stressing the UK was ready to take steps to “safeguard our own position”. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Lord Frost said: “We know that many medicines and drugs are being withdrawn. We have seen the Jewish community in Northern Ireland saying they feel at risk because they are struggling to import kosher products from elsewhere in the UK.
“Garden centres can’t get many kinds of plants and seeds from the rest of the UK because their import to Northern Ireland is banned.”
He added: “We are even in a position where plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year by planting trees cannot be properly implemented in Northern Ireland because English oaks, and many other trees, can’t be moved there – even though plenty were moved until the end of last year, and as far as I am aware have not all been cut down since.”
Referring to the Northern Ireland Protocol, the controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border which critics say has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea, Lord Frost explained: “Whenever I go to Northern Ireland I find a high degree of concern about this situation. Some want it resolved by negotiation; some want us to use the safeguards available under Article 16 of the protocol. But everyone wants it resolved.
“I still hope the EU can show the ambition needed to fix the problem by agreement. If they can’t, of course, we will have to safeguard our position in other ways.”
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