Get over it! Frost lashes out at Barnier after EU negotiator mocks ‘lonely Brexit Britain’

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Mr Barnier said the UK was “lonely” after they left the bloc, as he gloated the EU would still be “one of the eight great economic powers” by 2050. Lord Frost has also hit out, urging the EU to get over Brexit and ditch the “ill will”.

The pair frequently clashed during the long and often colourful Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU.

And tensions have resumed with the UK and EU at loggerheads over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Mr Barnier said the UK “must take responsibility for its choice and experience the new loneliness it wanted.”

The former EU chief negotiator said: “He [Boris Johnson] chose a form of solitary sovereignty.

“We remain faithful to the choice of solidary sovereignties.

“In a dangerous, unstable, unjust world we have an interest in acting together to be respected and have a strong voice.”

On the negotiations with his counterpart Lord Frost, he said: “From the start, this negotiation has been historic.

“I took personal notes as I went, like a nourished diary every night.

“There are so many consequences for so many people and above all so many lessons to be learned.”

Speaking to a meeting of French Senators this week, he concluded: “We, British negotiator Lord David Frost and I, were affected almost from the start.

“The negotiations were then more difficult with a very tight schedule imposed by the British: only nine months.”

But newly appointed Cabinet Office Minister Lord Frost, who led the UK side in trade negotiations with the bloc last year, said the UK would become an “outward-looking” nation with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

He added: “That is our hope for our ties with our European friends and allies too.”

Essentially ordering his EU rivals to get over it, he said: “I hope they will shake off any remaining ill will towards us for leaving, and instead build a friendly relationship, between sovereign equals.”

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he continued: “I have always believed that the gains of controlling our own affairs outweigh the short-term adjustments.

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“That is what Britain has chosen.

“In recent years it was too often claimed that Britain was no longer interested in playing a major international role.

“The British people are internationalist and want to make a difference in the world.”

It comes as Government ministers were embroiled in a furious row with the European Commission over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Commission said it will launch legal action against Whitehall after the UK announced it was extending a series of “grace periods”.

The grace periods were designed to ease trade between Northern Ireland – which remains in the EU single market for goods – and Great Britain while permanent arrangements are decided.

Lord Frost said London’s move should allow time for constructive discussions with counterparts in Brussels.

He said the move was lawful and designed to protect the everyday lives of people in Northern Ireland.

But the EU accused the UK of going back on its treaty obligations in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement intended to ensure there is no return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

But, last night, the UK Government faced strong criticism from former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who claimed the move to extend NI grace periods was Lord Frost trying to “show he is a tough guy.”

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The former Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach from 1997 to 2008 also claimed Boris Johnson’s decision to replace Michael Gove with David Frost last month was “strange”.

He added: “What should happen in normal diplomacy – Frost is meant to be a diplomat, I’m not sure if he lost those skills when he was made a cabinet Minister.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster, meanwhile, has criticised Brussels for taking a “very belligerent approach” to the difficulties caused by the protocol post-Brexit.

Mrs Foster also said “something had to give” and the UK had to take action and extend a grace period.

The White House has again stressed the support of new US President Joe Biden for the Good Friday Agreement, which the protocol is intended to protect.

 

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