'Climb down off your high horse!' Redwood erupts at EU for NI protocol issues

The Conservative MP argued the EU has violated the Brexit withdrawal agreement by threatening core aspects of the Northern Ireland protocol. Mr Redwood suggested the EU had undermined the Good Friday agreement and forcibly eroded the position of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. The Wokingham MP explained resolution to the matter of a trade border was possible, but only if the EU accepted its own wrongdoing in the situation so far. Speaking to the BBC’s Newsnight, he said: “Of course it’s doable, but it’s only doable if the EU climbs down off its high horse, stops lecturing the rest of us and understands that they are the ones that are violating the protocol.”

He continued: “They are the ones that are breaking the rules in the protocol.

“They are the ones negotiating a mandate to their nominated person that would allow us to solve the problems, as we see them, from the United Kingdom’s side.”

Newsnight host Mark Urban interrupted to clarify the statements made by the MP: “Sorry, that’s an important allegation you’ve made there.

“How are they breaking the rules of their own protocol?” 

Mr Redwood said: “The protocol is very clear that nothing must be done to damage the Good Friday agreement, as you have sort of pointed out to your previous interviewees.

“They are damaging the Good Friday agreement because the Good Friday agreement is based on the principle of the two main communities in Northern Ireland consenting to changes and working together.

“As you rightly point out, the unionist side cannot consent to this and the actions of the EU.”

The Tory MP suggested the EU had undermined the Good Friday agreement by violating the beliefs of Irish unionists that Ireland should be aligned with the United Kingdom.

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Mr Redwood continued: “They are also violating the provisions which say that Northern Ireland must be fully part of the United Kingdom’s internal market.

“It isn’t and they are deliberately creating difficult barriers to stop trade passing easily from one part of the United Kingdom to the other.”

He claimed the EU was intentionally creating tensions in Ireland by increasing the checks needed on goods entering the nation from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The MP highlighted these additional checks diminish Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom by increasing trade barriers and requiring measures that isolate the nation from the UK market privileges.

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Negotiations surrounding the Northern Ireland protocol have been placed under heightened pressure by the DUP as the Irish party refused to cooperate in the formation of a new assembly until the protocol issues were resolved.

The Northern Ireland protocol, an aspect of Boris Johnson’s negotiated Brexit deal, has been criticised for undermining the position of the region within the United Kingdom.

The EU has affirmed a border is necessary in Ireland to prevent the flow of unchecked goods from the United Kingdom into the southern Republic’s European single market.

The current border is placed in the Irish Sea meaning all goods from the UK now face increased controls before they enter Northern Ireland. The location had intended to avoid provoking tensions along Ireland’s internal border but the measures have strained Irish businesses as trade with the UK has become more complex as a result.

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