MICHEL BARNIER criticises the UK for not “correctly explaining” Brexit to affected businesses
The EU Chief Negotiator for the Brexit talks, Michel Barnier, has hit out at the UK government for failing to “correctly explain” the implications of the agreement to businesses affected by the transition. The EU has blamed the terms sought by the UK during the exit strategy meeting for the empty supermarket shelves in the UK and not the new, more complicated checks at the borders.
Michael Gove has requested a two-year delay on further checks planned as part of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which could see an even greater impact on the supply shortages. However, when the two sides meet for crisis talks in Brussels, this request is expected to be denied.
Mr Barnier said: “The difficulties on the island of Ireland are caused by Brexit, not by the Protocol” – adding “the Protocol is the solution.”
“Many of these consequences have not been correctly explained, they have been generally underestimated.”
“Brexit means Brexit,” he told a European Business Summit event.
Furthermore, Brussels is fully expected to criticise the UK for not keeping up its side of the bargain regarding border controls with Northern Ireland, half of which still aren’t operational almost six weeks after the transition period ended.
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson called the EU’s reluctance to grant a two-year extension “disappointing.”
“The Commission has failed to acknowledge the shock and anger felt across the community in Northern Ireland from its decision to trigger Article 16 and the need to take urgent steps to restore confidence as a result,” he said.
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