Lord Frost slams EU for Brexit problems and admits NI protocol 'isn't working'

13 April 2022, 09:26 | Updated: 13 April 2022, 10:03

Lord Frost: Post Brexit situation in Northern Ireland isn't working

By Asher McShane

Lord Frost told LBC today that the current situation in Northern Ireland “isn’t working” and said more must be done to "take advantage" of Brexit.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at breakfast on LBC Lord Frost said: “We had to take the decisions we did back in 2019 because Parliament had removed the option of leaving without a deal.

“The constitution was being shredded, we had to deliver the referendum results, so necessarily, the deal we had in 2019 was imperfect."

Read more: PM 'deserves to be trusted' but partygate response 'not good enough', says Lord Frost

Read more: Rishi 'had to be talked out of quitting to avoid putting pressure on PM to resign'

Lord Frost, who resigned from the Government in December last year over Covid-19 'Plan B', wants the EU to recognise that the Northern Ireland protocol was designed to be temporary and it was “not realistic” for it to last forever.

The protocol keeps Northern Ireland subject to some EU laws and introduces customs checks on British goods.

Ex Chief Brexit Negotiator Lord Frost grades leaving the EU

He told Nick: “We knew we were taking a risk. There was a lot of what we didn’t want that was imposed on us.

“Unfortunately it hasn’t had the careful handling it should have by the EU.

“The decision to try and activate article 16 at the beginning of 2021 was a big problem. The decision to impose a ‘vaccine border’ in January was a big problem.

“It’s destroyed the moral basis of the protocol, very clearly undermining the Belfast/Good Friday agreement.

“We are going to have serious difficulties in the political situation in Northern Ireland after the elections.

“It is obvious that the protocol as it currently stands cannot survive. It must be renegotiated or the government must act unilaterally.

“I simply don’t understand why the EU will not renegotiated and move on to a more collaborative relationship.”

He also graded his own performance on delivering Brexit saying he was "marking my own work a little bit," but said the Leave process deserved an 'A-' grade, but acknowledged there was still work to be done in Norther Ireland "to get everything right."

Lord Frost said that more needs to be done to "take advantage" of Brexit.

He said one of the key benefits was “restoring democracy” in this country.

“I’d like to see us doing more on planning reform, procurement reform, flexible labour markets, reducing tariffs, going harder on free trade deals," he said.