The EU will never forgive us for Brexit’: former Tory advisor slams NI negotiations

EU ‘will never forgive us’ says Claire Pearsall

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The former Tory advisor condemned the political negotiations surrounding a border for checks on goods entering Ireland.

The Northern Ireland protocol outlined in the Brexit withdrawal agreement has placed increased checks on goods coming into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

The border position is up for debate as Irish politicians argue the sea border undermines the inclusion of Northern Ireland within the UK.

Ms Pearsall said: “Whatever you put forward to the EU they will just denounce it as not working.”

She continued: “So what if there’s a bit of a trade war?

“The EU will never forgive us for Brexit, ever.

“I don’t see why we should pander to them on this when it’s hurting the people in Northern Ireland.”

The EU has declared a border must be enforced to prevent goods flowing unchecked into the Republic of Ireland, which remains a member of the European Union.

The former Conservative advisor added: “Trade between North Ireland and the South has carried on perfectly fine for many years.

“There is an agreement between the two countries that neither of them tend to go against and they are very clever at doing it. 

“I think we really should ask those people what it is they want because it seems to me that Westminster is putting an awful lot of pressure on Stormont and also the people in the south and then with the EU kind of bullying in the background – what do the people of Northern Ireland actually want?

“I think that is probably more important than what the people of Wesmtinster want.”

Read more: ‘We’ve reached the end of the road’ Lord Frost slams EU over protocol

As the UK departed the EU with the agreement of the Brexit withdrawal deal, the flow of goods across Ireland has become a point of contention.

Part of the Brexit agreement affirmed there would not be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the southern Republic of Ireland.

The division of the two regions has been the subject of serious historical tension and increased checks along the internal border could raise pressures.

While a border in the Irish Sea does avoid exasperating strain on the internal border, the increased checks undermine the presence of Northern Ireland within the UK.

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has explained she would be willing to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol if the EU continues to refuse negotiations.

Ms Truss said: “My priority is to protect peace and stability in Northern Ireland.”

The additional checks on goods moving into Northern Ireland have strained Irish businesses and caused outrage among Irish politicians.

The DUP has caused political disruption by blocking the election of a Speaker to a new assembly until the issues with the protocol are resolved.

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