Boris Johnson has personally assured Northern Ireland MP Ian Paisley that he will pledge to “tear up” the Brexit protocol which is now at the center of a major dispute between the UK and the EU, a- we said.
The Democratic Unionist Party MP made the comments on BBC Newsnight just hours after former PM adviser Dominic Cummings said he still intended to sign the Withdrawal Agreement in January 2020, but “the pieces of the ditch” they didn’t like in the protocol.
“Boris Johnson told me personally that he would commit, after accepting the protocol, to change that protocol and tear it up, that it was just for the semantics,” Paisley said.
Referring to Cummings’ claims that they had to travel to the country with a flawed deal to help [Jeremy] Corbyn “in the 2019 election, Paisley added:” This comment has been verified by another source much closer to Boris Johnson in his own government. “
“So the point is, I believe, the government didn’t really want that to happen in Northern Ireland and they took a short-term bet.”
Fictitious International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry said it was “shameful” that the UK is starting to play “quickly and freely” with other countries over international law.
“I think we are stepping down as a country, we don’t have the same international reputation, if our word isn’t our link,” she told Sky News.
“I think it’s appalling that people even think of representing our country by signing a deal knowing they weren’t going to implement it – I think it’s appalling,” she added.
Newsnight reported that the notorious exchange between Johnson and Paisley would have taken place ahead of a key Brexit vote on October 22, 2019.
At the time, Downing Street felt that democracy in the country was being overthrown by a bill aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit from happening. The law, dubbed “the act of surrender” by Brexiters, was recently cited by Brexit Minister David Frost in a speech to the Conservative Party conference.
“Of course we wanted to negotiate something better. If it hadn’t been for the craziness of the act of surrender, we could have done it. We were concerned from the start the protocol could not take the pressure, ”Lord Frost said, although at no point did he say that the government had entered into the agreement with the intention of renegotiating it shortly. soon after.
The row over whether or not the government acted in good faith when signing the protocol has raised ‘alarm’ in Dublin, but comes on the eve of a potential breakthrough on the protocol.
On Wednesday, the EU unveiled proposals to remove more than 80% of controls on goods and food, which Paisley said sounded like a “significant” descent but did not go far enough as it did not. neither proposed to abolish the role of the European Court of Justice.
A possible compromise on the ECJ is to adopt the same dispute settlement mechanism as in the EU-Switzerland Treaty.
Anton Spisak, business expert at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, said: “Under the Swiss treaty, the independent arbitration panel resolves all disputes as arbitrator by default. But when questions about EU rules are asked, the ECJ must give its point of view. The independent panel is the one that makes the ultimate decision, but it must take into account the views of the ECJ, ”he said.
Spisak believes it would be a “credible landing zone” and that the protocol would look more like a “standard international treaty”.
After being briefed on the EU’s proposals by Maroš Šefčovič, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP chief, said his “persistent pressure” for changes to the protocol had “paid off”, but that the planned changes did not were not up to his demands.
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald told RTÉ’s News at One that the DUP does not represent the majority opinion in Northern Ireland and that the protocol was necessary to protect the interests of the people of the island of Ireland .
She added, “People have to decide if they want a stable environment… or do they want a dog’s dinner and chaos?