‘Don’t know how this gets resolved’ Sky's Beth Rigby warns Brexit row could prove fatal


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Ms Rigby spoke after interviewing Maros Sefcovic, the vice-president of the European Commission, in a segment that was broadcasted last night. She said it was clear there was “frustration” from Europe over the legislative behaviour of the UK Government and added that the EU seemed in no way interested in “changing the negotiating mandate”. While deals have been struck following other difficult Brexit negotiations, regarding the protocol disagreements Ms Rigby said she “really doesn’t know how this gets resolved”. 

Ms Rigby said: “I think two things came across in that interview. One, the frustration with the British Government. 

“And secondly, intransigence in the sense of there is no way, and the UK Government have been asking for this for months and months, I remember asking Boris Johnson at the G7 a year, that they will change the negotiating mandate. 

“They are not going to change the withdrawal agreement. They’ll work within it but they won’t change it. 

“Now, there is a potential landing zone, but the UK has hardened their position. Now they’re saying things like they don’t want the European Court of Justice to have jurisdiction on monitoring these arrangements. 

“They are saying they want a dual regulatory regime in Northern Ireland, both of which are clear red lines to the European Union. 

“And I guess I was left thinking: I don’t really know how this gets resolved. 

“We’ve been here so many times in this slightly kind of showboating way and in the end, a deal has been struck. 

“But on this, I really don’t see where the common ground is unless the UK moves a bit and the EU makes more concessions.” 

READ MORE: Brexit POLL: Should UK be worried about EU legal retaliation? [POLL] 

Asked about the original agreement over Northern Ireland, Mr Sefovic said: “We agreed upon it, we ratified and we are still talking about it and of course what is still sensitive for us and indeed very damaging for our relationship is this constant breaching of the international law and that’s something that we are not used to from the UK.”

The day before the interview, subsequent to the tabling of the new Bill, Mr Sefocovic said Europe would “take [the UK] to the court of justice” within “two months” if the original Brexit treaty was violated. 

The original agreement imposed checks on goods travelling from the UK into Northern Ireland to ensure goods travelling into Ireland, a member of the EU, would adhere to the single market regulations. 

But critics of the protocol have said this creates a trade barrier in the Irish Sea, a fact which is causing unacceptable challenges for businesses in the UK and comprising the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. 


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