Relationship with EU ‘will be a bit bumpy for a time’ says UK negotiator as London explores doing things ‘differently’ to Brussels
The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned that relations between London and Brussels are likely to remain uneasy for a while, but said the British government’s priority must be to explore doing things differently than the EU.
Speaking to lawmakers on Monday, UK Cabinet Minister David Frost said the main objective for now was resolving issues with Brussels over the Northern Ireland Protocol. He said Northern Ireland was “clearly a very live issue” and that he thought relations with the EU in general “will be a bit bumpy for a time.”
Frost also said he thought it was important for the UK to see what they could change and do better than the EU.
“I think I have a role in making sure that what we put before parliament is genuinely reforming, genuinely consistent with deregulation and the spirit of Brexit, and goes forward on that basis,” he stated.
Frost noted that changes to financial regulation would be high on the list, claiming that new rules on this front would play a large role in Britain’s future economic success.
Speaking earlier on Monday, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he didn’t think the UK wanted to rewrite the terms of the Brexit deal despite ongoing disagreements over its implementation.
“We were very clear and are very clear that this is an international agreement, commitments have been made and it needs to be worked, and the processes that are in it need to be worked also,” Martin told an online event on Monday.
Northern Ireland has been a persistent area of disagreement since the UK left the EU. With a customs border running through the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Britain, loyalists have made their frustrations with the Brexit agreement known through a series of violent protests.
London has also made unilateral changes to the deal, extending border check ‘grace periods’ by suspending the implementation of customs agreements, angering Brussels.