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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

British Government Ignorant or Arrogant ?

Ignorance or Arrogance - Piecing Together the Brexit Jigsaw.

This week the British Government and EU will come together for a further round of talks on the implementation of the post-Brexit trade deal. This is happening at a time when attempts are being made by political and paramilitary unionist groups to stir up tensions who objected to limited checks on some products moving from Britain to the North of Ireland.

Lord David Frost, the British Minister involved in negotiating and agreeing to the post-Brexit deal reached for the defense of ignorance claiming that he,

“underestimated the effect of the protocol on goods movements to Northern Ireland, with some suppliers in GB simply not sending their products because of time-consuming paperwork”.

Gavin Barwell a former Chief of Staff to British Prime minister Theresa May, dismissed this claim,

“It’s tempting to believe that – despite all the warnings – the government ‘underestimated the effect of the protocol’, but I’m pretty sure it’s not true. They knew it was a bad deal but agreed it as it gets Brexit done, intending to wriggle out of it later,”

European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic, said,

“Through hours of line-by-line negotiations, we managed to do what seemed impossible- to protect the hard-earned gains of the peace process and maintain an invisible border on the island of Ireland. No one knows that better than Lord Frost himself, then the UK’s chief Brexit Negotiator”

Meanwhile, the British Government is playing the Orange Card using threats from Unionist politicians and paramilitary groups as leverage in their talks with the EU. David Frost recently met with representatives of illegal unionist paramilitaries for their assessment of the trade deal !!!!.

In the New York Times, Johnathon Powell as chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair was quoted,

“There is a nexus between the loyalists and the Tory party,” Mr. Powell said. “The Tories are making Northern Ireland politics interesting in a way that we don’t want them to be, which is all about identity.”

The impact of the protocol is limited and the choice of business. It is not a constitutional issue and has little impact. Yet the British Government is continuing to whip up tensions on the streets of Belfast as leverage with the EU.

Into this steps President Biden, who is expected to speak with Boris Johnson this week at the side of the G7 leaders meeting.

There have been growing calls for President Biden to reappoint a Special Envoy to the North of Ireland.

The British Government's defense of ignorance looks threadbare and more like the outworking of arrogance.

The message for the US has been consistent the Good Friday Agreement must be protected and there will be no trade deal with Britain if it is undermined.

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