Rishi Sunak declares It’s time to get Brexit done
Rishi Sunak has declared it is time to complete the “unfinished business” of Brexit. The Prime Minister is in the final stages of nailing down a deal with the EU which he hopes will persuade the DUP to share power with Sinn Fein.
“There’s unfinished business on Brexit and I want to get the job done,” he said.
With tensions running high, he was accused of “dragging the King into a hugely controversial political issue” over a planned meeting between the monarch and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
She was reportedly due to meet King Charles at Windsor Castle.
It was even suggested any agreement brokered on Northern Ireland could be called the Windsor Deal.
Her visit was called off, apparently for operational reasons unconnected to the Northern Ireland negotiations.
But Sammy Wilson, a DUP MP, accused the PM of “dragging the King into a hugely controversial political issue”.
And former Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “If there were a plan to bring the King in before there is domestic political agreement, it would border on constitutional impropriety.”
The DUP says it will not share power in Northern Ireland unless post-Brexit trading arrangements are overhauled.
The Northern Ireland Protocol was intended to avoid customs checks with the Irish Republic.
But it has been blamed for disrupting trade with Great Britain.
The UK Government says the deal it has negotiated so far with the EU will eliminate swathes of red tape and allow goods to flow from Great Britain into Northern Ireland through a “green lane” without going through customs processes.
Whitehall source said: “The PM has been clear the people of Northern Ireland deserve to be free of the cumbersome bureaucracy caused by the protocol for the passage of goods.”
But former Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “If it’s true that Government negotiators have reached some arrangements on red or green customs lanes, which is all about paperwork and checks on goods, that is an absolute distraction from the fundamental issues which are that European law and single market regulations would still apply to a sovereign part of the United Kingdom and effectively govern the way that Northern Ireland trades with Great Britain.
“Red or green lanes are a symptom of a wider failure. So long as EU law and regulations apply to Northern Ireland there will be no resolution to this long-term matter.”
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