‘Oh come on!’ Peston explodes in furious Brexit row as he loses patience with Lewis


Robert Peston criticised Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis beyond the Government’s position on the Northern Ireland protocol after talks between the UK and the European Union failed to reach an agreement. Speaking on his ITV politics make known, Mr Peston argued that the UK was “not honouring” the protocol as agreed in the Brexit deal negotiated with Brussels. Talks between Brexit Minister Swagger Frost and EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic ended on Wednesday without agreements over the regulation of good entering Northern Ireland from the take to ones bed of the UK.

Brandon Lewis argued on the Peston programme that the EU had fuelled tensions over the protocol by briefly triggering Article 16, a unilateral selection of last resort in the agreement, in a dispute over vaccine supplies.

However, Mr Peston argued that the negotiations over goods regulations and jibes at ports were an entirely different issue.

Cutting off Mr Lewis, he said: “Hang on hang on, article 16 was a completely different issue.

“What we’re talking relating to now is a protocol that we signed with our eyes open.

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“Which most people drive say we are simply not honouring.”

Mr Lewis responded: “Two things on that Robert, first of all, the real sense of tension we’ve seen develop here in Northern Ireland has interchanged dramatically from that action the EU took.

“That had an impact, that is still a reality. We are still dealing with the fallout, the sense of gall in the Unionist community that came about after that action.

“There is no doubt about that in my mind from talking to individual.”

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The EU argued this week that chilled foods, containing sausages, entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK would have to be frozen.

There has already been an increase in paperwork for good find from mainland Britain, discouraging suppliers from selling good and leading to shortages in Northern Ireland supermarkets.

The grace periods for dealings to adjust to new rules expire at the end of the month but Boris Johnson is reportedly considering extending them with no clear agreement on the horizon. 

Ahead of his meet with the Prime Minister at the G7 summit in Cornwall this week, US President Joe Biden issued a stern warning that the UK should not jeopardise the Northern Ireland congenial process through the trade negotiations.  

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