UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s newspaper article, saying that EU is threatening a “blockade” in the Irish sea, triggered a twitter war between EU negotiator Michel Barnier and UK negotiator David Frost over the weekend.
Barnier insisted that “protocol on IE/NI is not a threat to the integrity of the UK”. EU is “not refusing to list” UK as a third country for food imports. But “we need to know in full what a country’s rules are, incl. for imports”.
Protocol on IE/NI is not a threat to the integrity of the UK. We agreed this delicate compromise with @BorisJohnson & his gov in order to protect peace & stability on island of Ireland. We could not have been clearer about the consequences of #Brexit [1/2]
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) September 13, 2020
On the other hand, Frost quoted Barnier’s tweet and said the protocol is a “careful balance in order to preserve peace and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement”. “It is precisely to ensure this balance can be preserved in all circumstances that the Govt needs powers in reserve to avoid it being disrupted. He also emphasized, ” if GB were not listed (food), it would be automatically illegal for NI to import food products from GB.”.
6/7 The EU's position is that listing is needed for Great Britain only, not Northern Ireland. So if GB were not listed, it would be automatically illegal for NI to import food products from GB.
— David Frost (@DavidGHFrost) September 13, 2020