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LIVE UPDATES: ‘If your deal is so shoddy why did you negotiate it?’ - MLAs grill Lord Frost on Brexit and NI Protocol in Stormont
Last updated: Friday, 09 July, 2021, 16:07
Lord Frost admits UK government is ‘worried’ and ‘troubled’ at lack of consent from unionists for NI Protocol
Lord Frost has admitted to MLAs in the Stormont Executive Office committee that the UK government is 'worried' and 'troubled' that the lack of consent from unionists for the NI Protocol.
Lord Frost was answering a question put to him from Diane Dodds, DUP MLA, about cross community consent for the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“We knew the imposition of another party’s law was going to be democratically extremely difficult - even it was done to protect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.
“Nevertheless, it is pretty unusual to have laws set by an outside entity and the consent mechanism is albeit an imperfect way of allowing the institutions here to say either, looking at all these balances it is working tolerably or it is not working tolerably.
“The consent mechanism is fundamental to the workability of the arrangements.
“The consent mechanism is not just about four years time - you need to have broad consensus to make it work between now and then and the fact we don’t have it is what worries us so much.
“It’s why it troubles us so much that it seems to be operating in a way that seems to undermining that purpose now.”
‘If your deal is so shoddy why did you negotiate it?’ - MLAs grill Lord Frost on Brexit and NI Protocol in Stormont
Lord Frost, the man who, along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, negotiated and signed up to the Northern Ireland Protocol, is in Stormont today where he faces questions from MLAs who sit on the Executive Office committee.
The Chair of the Executive Office committee, Colin McGrath, SDLP MLA, asked Lord Frost “If your deal is so shoddy why did you negotiate it?”.
To which Lord Frost replied: “The underlying issue is the way it is being implemented at the moment doesn’t reflect the balance we believed we agreed.
“We need to find a smoother way of managing, principally, goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.”