Arlene Foster tears into EU Brexit protocol changes plan ‘Nothing on sovereignty!’
14th October 2021

Arlene Foster says more needs to be done for Northern Ireland

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Former First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster tore into the EU Brexit protocol changes, saying “it is a start” that most Northern Ireland checks on British goods are to be scrapped. However, she also argued that more changes need to be made. It came after the European Union published its plan on how the protocol could be amended yesterday.

Speaking on ITV Peston, Arlene Foster said: “First of all, I think it’s a start.

“He has said that he is going to cut down on the number of checks.

“Unfortunately, however, there’s nothing about state aid.

“There’s nothing about the different VAT rules that we have to abide by in Northern Ireland.”

She went on: “There’s nothing about the sovereignty of Northern Ireland and the fact that the final arbiter is still going to be the European Court of Justice.

I thought it was interesting to hear from Lord Frost in the House of Lords today actually saying that there’s not much point in tinkering about at the edges.

What we need is fundamental change.

And that’s what the government’s looking for, and it’s a bit late, but I welcome that to be the case.

The EU cut the number of spot checks by 80 percent and halved the amount of customs paperwork on Wednesday. 

Mr Vale de Almeida, EU’s ambassador to the UK said on BBC Newsnight: “What we have presented in Brussels today is unprecedented.

And I have been working for the EU for almost 40 years now. 

“What we have done today goes very far. We went the extra mile to address the problems that were created by Brexit in Northern Ireland, which the protocol tries to mitigate.”

The changes came after Brexit minister Lord Frost proposed plans to replace the existing protocol on Tuesday.

This has left the EU frustrated with attempts to reopen the talks on the Northern Ireland protocol.

The protocol was put in place in 2019 for Northern Ireland. 

This means goods can flow freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, removing the threat of a “hard border”.
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