Boris Johnson ‘will take Lord Frost with him to G7 in Cornwall to avoid Brexit ambush by the EU’ as the UK demands Brussels ditch threat of sausage trade war ahead of crunch meeting today on Northern Ireland Protocol
- Lord Frost will reportedly attend G7 summit in Cornwall which starts on Friday
- Lord Frost’s presence will be seen as an attempt to counter EU Brexit criticism
- Comes as UK and EU chiefs meet in London today for talks on Northern Ireland
Boris Johnson will take Lord Frost to the G7 summit in Cornwall this week to avoid a Brexit ambush by the EU, it was claimed today.
The PM is said to have invited the Brexit Minister to attend amid growing concerns a row over the Northern Ireland Protocol will overshadow the meeting of world leaders.
His attendance, first reported by Bloomberg, will be seen as an attempt to counter expected Brexit criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
It came as Lord Frost meets with his EU counterpart, Maros Sefcovic, in London today in an attempt to avoid a so-called ‘sausage war’ amid a rumbling row over the protocol.
Boris Johnson will take Lord Frost to the G7 summit in Cornwall this week to avoid a Brexit ambush by the EU, it was claimed today
The PM is said to have invited the Brexit minister to attend amid growing concerns a row over the Northern Ireland Protocol will dominate the meeting of world leaders.
Mr Johnson is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit.
The Times reported earlier this week that Mr Biden will warn Mr Johnson not renege on the terms of the Brexit trade deal he agreed with the EU.
US politicians have repeatedly warned that the row between Britain and Brussels over the protocol could derail a future trade deal between London and Washington.
Lord Frost’s presence at the summit would enable Mr Johnson to lean on his Brexit supremo in crunch meetings and to hit back in detail at any claims made by EU figures.
The growing risk of the Brexit row being dragged into the G7 summit was highlighted last night after a phone call between Mr Johnson and Mrs von der Leyen.
The President of the European Commission tweeted after the call that she had expressed her ‘deep concern’ over the implementation of the trade deal and said ‘we will discuss how to progress and ensure compliance in margins of G7’.
Lord Frost urged the EU overnight to show ‘pragmatism and common sense’ in resolving continuing differences over the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in Northern Ireland.
Ahead of talks in London this morning, Lord Frost said threats from Brussels of trade wars and legal action would not help people and businesses in Northern Ireland struggling with the ‘damaging impact’ the agreement was having on the ground.
His appeal came after European Commission vice president Mr Sefcovic said the EU would act ‘swiftly, firmly and resolutely’ if the UK tried to backtrack on its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol in the agreement.
Reports yesterday suggested Britain is ready to act unilaterally to delay imposition of checks on chilled meats such as sausages and chicken nuggets coming to Northern Ireland from Great Britain when the current ‘grace period’ expires at the end of June.
In a statement ahead of his meeting with Mr Sefcovic, Lord Frost said time was running out to find the ‘practical solutions’ that were needed to enable the protocol to work as it was intended to.
He said the ‘overriding priority’ for both sides must be the preservation of the Northern Ireland peace process and he called on the EU to show the ‘flexibility’ required to achieve the results which ‘enjoy the confidence of all communities’.
Mr Johnson is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit. Mr Biden will reportedly warn the PM not to renege on the Brexit deal with the EU
Lord Frost will meet with his EU counterpart, Maros Sefcovic, in London today in an attempt to avoid a so-called ‘sausage war’ amid a rumbling row over the Northern Ireland Protocol
Earlier, Downing Street insisted there could be no justification for preventing chilled meats from the rest of the UK being sold in Northern Irish shops, while Environment Secretary George Eustice said the suggestion was ‘bonkers’.
It came after Mr Sefcovic raised the prospect of a trade war – with Brussels imposing tariffs and quotas on British exports – if the UK failed to meet its international obligations under the the protocol.
The agreement – intended to ensure there is no return to a hard border with the Republic – means that Northern Ireland remains part of the EU single market, which in turn requires checks on some goods coming from Great Britain.
But Mr Sefcovic said there had been ‘numerous and fundamental gaps’ in the UK’s implementation of the agreement.
He said that if Britain took further unilateral measures, the EU ‘will not be shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely to ensure that the UK abides by its international law obligations’.
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