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Ratcliffe Responds to Lord Frost Comments on Protocol Deal

Newry and Armagh TUV representative Keith Ratcliffe has welcomed recent comments from Lord Frost regarding the Windsor Framework.

TUV Newry and Armagh spokesperson Keith Ratcliffe said:

“Lord Frost’s comments in the Daily Telegraph about the “Windsor Framework” are a welcome dose of reality and a counter to much of the spin of recent days.

“As chief negotiator for Exiting the European Union during the Brexit negotiations, Lord Frost knows the situation as well as anyone. When he tells us that the new arrangements are oversold, and do not change the fundamental Protocol framework, therefore, he deserves to be listens to.

“Rather than replacing the Protocol Lord Frost correctly identifies that it is simply renamed the “Windsor Framework”. As the EU explainer says: “the Windsor Framework [is] within the framework of the Withdrawal Agreement, of which the Protocol is an integral part … All new arrangements fall within this pre-established framework”.

“When it comes to the claim that there is no longer a border in the Irish Sea, Lord Frost observes that the EU have already said that there is merely a “reduction, although not a full eradication, of customs requirements”.

“Furthermore, any goods other than food, drink, and pharma must still meet EU standards. Lord Frost cites the example of a new car sold by a Northern Ireland dealer – it must meet EU standards, not U.K. ones.

“He is withering when it comes to the “Stormont brake” noting that it can only be applied if EU laws “significantly differ” from the old ones and have a “significant impact” on “everyday life” that is “liable to persist”.

“Even then, the final say on whether the brake is applied at all lies with Westminster, not Stormont and will only ever be used “in the most exceptional circumstances and as a last resort, having used every other available mechanism”.“Lord Frost’s intervention leaves us in no doubt that the Protocol is still very much a live issue.”


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