Lord Frost: I’ll suspend part of Brexit over Northern Ireland deal

Brexit: EU staff 'exodus' is 'non-existent' says expert

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Brussels has offered to ease trade checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the UK to end the “sausage wars” that risk the province’s peace process. But Brexit minister Lord Frost says the proposals fall short and insists the UK-EU relationship cannot be “ultimately policed” by European courts. He told the House of Commons European scrutiny committee the test for triggering Article 16, allowing either side to suspend any aspect causing economic or societal difficulties, had been passed.

The peer said he would rather reach a deal with Brussels, but warned: “We all see this as an issue for this autumn, to be settled one way or the other.”

Lord Frost said Britain was not interested in arrangements that involve European courts by some other name.

He said: “It’s highly unusual in an international treaty to have disputes settled in the court of one of the parties. That is the fundamental thing we need to remove from the arrangements going forward.”

The Northern Ireland protocol allowed the province to remain part of the EU’s single market to keep the Irish border open.

But it led to checks on products from the mainland and curbs on chilled meats such as British-made bangers being sold freely.

Lord Frost said the EU’s proposals “do, for the first time, acknowledge they might be willing to change their own laws in order to deal with the special situation in Northern Ireland”.

But he told MPs: “The problem with them is that they don’t go far enough.

“What we’re trying to test is whether they could find the basis to go further than what they have put on the table.”

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