One of Labour’s only Eurosceptic MPs has exposed the EU’s devious plotting over UK attempts to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Appearing on TalkRADIO this morning, veteran MP for Blackley and Broughton, Graham Stringer was equally frank in his criticism of President Biden unwelcome intervention on the side of the EU yesterday.
His appearance on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s show comes on the back of a whirlwind twenty-four hours during which it was revealed the Biden administration had rashly and officially put the UK in the diplomatic doghouse over its “heated rhetoric” on the Northern Ireland Protocol – the fiendish mechanism is disrupting East-West trade, but the White House seems to think the complex issue is limited to the island of Ireland – before feebly rowing back.
The EU has seized on the Democrats’ ignorance by portraying the Brits as the ones causing difficulties when the troublemaker is the Protocol and its disruption of internal British trade. The EU continues to aggressively defend the Protocol, even going as far as threatening Britain with trade barriers.
Speaking on the same program, yesterday, DUP legend, Sammy Wilson said the stiff position on the Protocol “is an attempt by the EU to use Northern Ireland to drag the United Kingdom as a whole back into single market rules”.
Biden fell into the trap and ordered his top diplomat in London to tell Britain to meet the EU’s demands and align on agricultural goods.
Boris Johnson met with Biden At the G7 yesterday. Both sides tried to smooth things over with the US administration dismissing reports Britain had been given a dressing down as “wrong”, however the White House spokesperson did not deny an official ‘démarche’ (a formal diplomatic slap on the wrists unheard of between allies) had been issued.
Commenting on the developments, Stringer did not mince his words in laying into the EU. This is the latest edition of the “ongoing saga of the EU trying to maintain, or [rather] retain control of the United Kingdom’s laws and regulations,” he said.
Stringer added: “It’s because they are frightened of competition from this country. There are obvious solutions to the Northern Ireland situation. In reality, it’s not a great problem, it is the stifling bureaucracy of the EU just wanting to keep control.”
Stringer laid waste to the EU’s constantly peddled argument the Protocol’s complex system of customs controls are necessary to ensure its precious single market’s “integrity” is not compromised.
And he went on to say that “from the very beginning, the EU tried to weaponise the Irish situation”.
“Does anybody really think that exporting sausages from Wales or the northwest of England to Northern Ireland is going to wreck the EU internal market because all these sausages will end up in Europe, it’s bonkers.”
Sausages have become a focal point in recent days, under the Protocol they will be banned from import from mainland Britain to NI at the end of this month. The same draconian prohibition applies to some medicines.
Hartley-Brewer raised Biden’s faint Irish lineage, which he has turned into a big part of his political brand, as she invited Stringer to comment on where the Americans fit in.
“In the way that Americans consider themselves to be the nationality of their great great-grandfathers, he [Biden] considers himself to be Irish and believes he’s got an understanding of the Irish situation, which when I’ve been to the United States most politicians don’t understand it [the peace process].”
Stringer is one of the last remaining Brexiteer Labour MPs left following the voluntary departures of Kate Hoey and Frank Field from the House of Commons at the last election. Both have since become peers.
Ulsterwoman Hoey has been an outspoken critic of the Protocol ever since it was implemented at the turn of the year and yesterday gave Biden a piece of her mind after the démarche scandal broke.
“The EU has no interest in Northern Ireland – they are using it as a weapon to punish the UK,” Hoey tweeted.
“They want to break up the Union and are being aided by the Irish nationalist bias of the American President.”