Shocking failure Boris warned over loss of Northern Ireland – Brexit tensions on brink

Brexit: Northern Ireland has been 'betrayed' says Nigel Farage

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has outlined unilateral action to introduce separate “green” and “red” lanes for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This would draw a line between those destined to remain within the UK and those heading to the Republic of Ireland and beyond. It is believed there would be no crossover between the channels, with goods filtering through one or the other, depending on their intended destination.

However, this would override current arrangements with the EU, which sees Northern Ireland effectively kept in the Single Market for goods, with a hard border down the Irish Sea.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic warned should the UK proceed with the Bill, Brussels will respond with “all measures at its disposal”.

Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group think tank, told “Brexit offered an opportunity to do things differently.

“But the Government that has been in power since hasn’t taken advantage of that, and furthermore made a number of bizarre and naïve errors.

“If it leads to the loss of Northern Ireland it will demonstrate a shocking failure of governance, which will be used to denigrate Brexit.

“We know Britain is more than capable of governing itself, it once governed a quarter of the planet, but this government is in danger of failing to meet the standards of their forebears.”

In a further warning, the political expert said the UK needs to overhaul its foreign policy approach to “stringently focus on Britain’s national interest”.

He added aggression from the EU over issues such as those related to Northern Ireland could force Britain into a radical re-think and possibly “discard old globalist ways of thinking”.

Mr Harris-Quinney said: “Long-term, the UK needs to completely change its foreign policy approach to stringently focus on Britain’s national interest.

“If the EU is aggressive on issues like Northern Ireland and indeed many questions relating to our national integrity and security, we will need to re-evaluate many of our partnerships, and seek alternative partners.

“If Britain is able to discard old globalist ways of thinking and start using our full might towards our national interest, then the future will be bright in Northern Ireland and far beyond.”

But, in a final Brexit warning to Mr Johnson, the Bow Group chairman added: “So far, however, the Government has passed Brexit but continued to function in the opposite way the British people voted for.

“We have had more mass immigration, more progressive green rubbish, and more weak negotiation than we did when we were in the EU.

“Lord Frost took the decision to resign from the Government, having perhaps the most intimate experience of Brexit and the Northern Irish Protocol, because he couldn’t support the direction of travel.

“If his and our warnings are not heeded, this isn’t corrected, and he is proven right, the Government will make a disastrous hash of Brexit and all else.”

Former Brexit minister Lord Frost has lashed out at the EU, claiming it is “disappointing” Brussels won’t help resolve problems caused by the deal in Northern Ireland and “continues to be so unconstructive”.

The Tory peer backed the plans by Foreign Secretary Ms Truss to overhaul large parts of the agreement.

Speaking in the House of Lords, he said: “We are told that fixing very obvious problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol will cause, it is said, ‘huge and irreparable damage to our foreign relations and international reputation’. I don’t agree with that.

“Any observer can see that protocol is undermining the Belfast Agreement, it’s weakening the Government’s ability to govern Northern Ireland. Any observer can see it needs fixing.”

Lord Frost added: “There is no need for a trade war. If it comes, it won’t be our choice, I guess.

“Some argue that the war in Ukraine makes it the wrong moment to address this question. On the contrary, I think the great events that are under way make it all the more important for us to fix the issues that are dividing western countries.

“To me it makes it all the more surprising and disappointing that the EU will not help us solve this problem and continues to be so unconstructive.”

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