Boris Johnson today insisted his Government will ‘fix’ post-Brexit rules throttling goods trade with Northern Ireland today as he insisted the problems were not ‘going to be the end of the world’.
The Primer Minister made the breezy assessment as he was grilled on the UK’s relationship with France and other members of the EU since leaving in January.
In an interview with Bloomberg he insisted that he had a good relationship with president Macron despite a deepening row over fishing rights and efforts to stem the flow of migrants across the Channel.
Boris Johnson said ministers are considering using legislation to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is expected to take place in the next parliamentary session from May
Boris Johnson said he wanted to ‘fix’ the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Boris Johnson has threatened to create legislation that would allow Britain to tear up a key part of its own Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister risked a new confrontation with Brussels by promising to “fix” the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Mr Johnson confirmed today that ministers are considering using legislation to rewrite the minutes, which are expected to take place at the next parliamentary session from May.
It comes less than two weeks before the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, with fury among unionist parties who believed the protocol was separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.Lorries carrying chilled meat and other items from mainland Britain land at the port of Larne in Northern Ireland
The Prime Minister told a news conference in New Delhi: “The Protocol really does not have the confidence of a large, large part of the population of Northern Ireland. We need to address this, we need to fix this.
“We believe we can do it with some very simple and sensible steps.
“We have repeatedly spoken to our friends and partners in the EU. We will continue to speak to them.
“But as I have said many times before, we do not rule out taking steps now if they are necessary.”
When asked if that included legislation, he said, “Of course.”
Last week the EU made major concessions over goods entry to Northern Ireland from Great Britain as it sought to ease the ongoing row.
The European Commission offered to slash 80 per cent of regulatory checks and dramatically cut customs processes on British goods moving to Northern Ireland.
But there were claims the EU is preparing retaliation including blocking cross-Channel energy supplies if the UK rejects a deal on the Northern Ireland protocol.
France, Germany and the Netherlands are said to be pushing for a tough response should Britain follow through on its threats to suspend the divorce terms.
The measures being floated include curbing UK access to energy supplies, imposing tariffs, or even axing the trade agreement, according to the Financial Times.
The sabre-rattling comes as Lord Frost warned that the European Court of Justice must be stripped of powers over Northern Ireland.