The DUP’s Sammy Wilson has fired a stinging attack against the EU, claiming Eurocrats have a “blatant” plan to keep Britain aligned with EU rules “forever”.
Speaking to Talk Radio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the passionate Brexiteer and patriot accused Brussels of putting peace in Ireland in jeopardy.
His forceful rebuke comes on the back of evidence the Biden administration is completely in thrall to Brussels when it comes to the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which governs the post-Brexit sea border within the United Kingdom.
A memo has been leaked to the press of a meeting between Lord Frost, who leads Britain’s negotiation with the EU, to fix the Protocol, and America’s de facto ambassador to The United Kingdom. In the meeting, Frost was told Britain needed to tone down “heated rhetoric”, despite it being the EU dishing out threats. The Cabinet minister was also urged to adopt the EU’s massive regulatory framework on agricultural produce, which Wilson strongly took issue with.
Asked to comment on the EU’s behaviour as the two sides try to find an accommodation at the G7 summit in Cornwall, Wilson said: “I think there’s no doubt about it that the EU are certainly inflaming the situation here in Northern Ireland. Not only do we have a protocol which in itself was damaging to the economic prospects of Northern Ireland and also our constitutional situation, but then the EU go even further and insist that the terms of the protocol are extended.
“On the one hand they claim to want to alleviate some of the problems, that they want to try and reach an agreement, and only this week they’re telling us that not only are we not allowed to import meat into Northern Ireland, we’re not going to be able to import biscuits because they’ve got milk powder contained in their ingredients.
“And at the same time, the Protocol itself was never designed to do what the EU are saying it’s now to do because any goods coming into Northern Ireland not going to the rest of the EU were to be exempt from checks and yet they’ve insisted [on checks].”
Wilson then threw in the bonkers statistic that more checks are conducted on British goods entering Northern Ireland than on trade passing through the EU’s eastern frontier, goods coming from the likes of Russia and Belarus that have passed through “major smuggling routes.” The EU is not being “proportionate” blasted the DUP elder statesman.
Invited to comment by Hartley-Brewer on Britain’s complicity in agreeing to the Protocol, a key feature of the withdrawal agreement struck late in 2019, Wilson conceded “there was always a risk”.
But he was eager to bring the blame back on Brussels. “What the EU are doing has nothing to do with security of the single market, it has nothing do with goods flowing into Northern Ireland… but if you notice, the EU have proposed a solution to this. And their solution is that the United Kingdom will forever align themselves to EU regulations in terms of food, in terms of animal veterinary standards etc.
“This is an attempt by the EU to use Northern Ireland to drag the United Kingdom as a whole back into single market rules. It’s a blatant attempt and they risk peace in Northern Ireland. They stir up fears in Northern Ireland in order to try and undo the negotiations they had with the United Kingdom because they still can’t accept that we have decided to leave the EU and are trying to find ways of imposing their laws.”