BBC radio caller slams EU for exploiting flammable NI divide for Brexit benefits

Brexit: EU is 'using Northern Ireland' says 5 Live caller

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The European Union has been slapped down on BBC Radio over the bloc’s handling of the Northern Ireland Protocol which some in the unionist community believe threatens their place within the Union. Steven from Liverpool told BBC Radio 5’s Nicky Campbell that the EU was “playing a dangerous game” by using the deep division in Northern Ireland to pursue its own narrow interests on Brexit. 

The Liverpudlian told BBC Radio 5: “The European Union are using Northern Ireland if you like.

“Let’s face it for years and years now and for years to come it’s always been like we are waiting for something to happen.

“The European Union they know the history of the country, they know how flammable it is.

“They know people’s feelings are really sort of black or white…you are for the Union or your not.”

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He added: “They are really playing a dangerous game.”

It comes after the UK’s former chief Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost lashed out at Brussel’s refusal to sit down and talk to Boris Johnson over reforming the Protocol.

Lord Frost has argued the approach of the EU has left London with “left no choice” but to rewrite the Protocol or ditch the current mechanisms completely.

He told GB News host Nigel Farage earlier this week: “I think it was a deal that could have worked with delicate handling on both sides, sensitivity to the need for cross-community consent in Northern Ireland.

Lord Frost says Brexit protocol must go

“That was always going to require a degree of sensitivity on the EU side that hasn’t been there.”

He added: “I think much of the EU doesn’t understand the niceties and the details and the history of the issues in Northern Ireland and in the end, I think they prioritise protecting their own single market over the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and that that is the problem.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of how we got here, the protocol has to change or disappear. I think there’s now no option, much better to do by negotiation if the EU will do it though if we read in the paper they’ve just said that they never will change their negotiating mandate and negotiate with us about it. So I think we’re left with no choice.”

Lord Frost’s stand has been welcomed by anti-Protocol campaigners in Northern Ireland, including the prominent loyalist activist Jamie Bryson.


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Mr Bryson told “Lord Frost is correct. The time for talking has passed, the Act of Union must be restored, and for that to happen the Protocol must be stripped out of domestic law. 

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