in

Plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by planting oaks thrown into jeopardy by EU ban

Spread the love


The row between Britain and the EU over Northern Ireland has jeopardised plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year by planting English oaks in the province.

The infamous Northern Ireland Protocol, which for months has proved the sticking point in negotiations between London and Brussels, keeps the border with the Republic open but requires checks on goods from Britain.

But under EU rules on plants, which Northern Ireland is continuing to follow, species such as honeysuckle and oak from Britain are prohibited.

Lord Frost, pictured, who met European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic on Friday, has threatened to suspend the protocol by triggering Article 16 if agreement cannot be reached

Lord Frost, pictured, who met European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic on Friday, has threatened to suspend the protocol by triggering Article 16 if agreement cannot be reached

The red tape means people in Northern Ireland cannot plant such trees from the mainland as part of the nationwide Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

Writing in today’s Mail on Sunday, below, Brexit Minister Lord Frost cites the ban as one of the reasons why the EU should end the stalemate over the protocol.

Lord Frost, who met European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic on Friday, has threatened to suspend the protocol by triggering Article 16 if agreement cannot be reached.

The red tape means people in Northern Ireland cannot plant such trees from the mainland as part of the nationwide Queen’s Green Canopy initiative

The red tape means people in Northern Ireland cannot plant such trees from the mainland as part of the nationwide Queen’s Green Canopy initiative

Referring to the ‘intensive and sometimes dramatic argument with the EU’ over the protocol, Lord Frost called for ‘more ambition and more urgency’, adding: ‘The protocol itself says it should “impact as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland”. But it is failing to do so.

‘The core of the problem is that all kinds of goods are not getting to Northern Ireland in the way that they do to the rest of our country, or face extra costs and delays if they do. That’s not fair on consumers in Northern Ireland.’

Lord Frost added: ‘As we approach Christmas, we’ve seen a stream of stories about products being banned and services being withdrawn because of the protocol.

The row between Britain and the EU over Northern Ireland has jeopardised plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year by planting English oaks in the province

The row between Britain and the EU over Northern Ireland has jeopardised plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year by planting English oaks in the province

‘Marks & Spencer has had to withdraw its entire Christmas product ‘Click and collect’ service from Northern Ireland because of uncertainties in delivery timetables.’

After their meeting in Brussels, Mr Sefcovic said he had ‘reiterated the need to shift into a result-orientated mode and to deliver on the issues raised by Northern Irish stakeholders’.

He added ‘It is essential that the recent change in tone now leads to joint tangible solutions in the framework of the protocol.’

The two men are due to meet again in London later this month in an attempt to reach a deal by Christmas.

LORD FROST: We need more urgency from the EU if we are to sustain the peace in Northern Ireland

 Many Mail on Sunday readers will be wondering why we are, once again, in intensive and sometimes dramatic argument with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

Once again, threats are being made against us over how we treat part of our own country.

How can this be when these issues seemed so recently settled?

Brexit minister Lord Frost, pictured, said that the protocol issues are 'not fair on consumers in Northern Ireland'

Brexit minister Lord Frost, pictured, said that the protocol issues are ‘not fair on consumers in Northern Ireland’

The answer is that, as Maros Sefcovic, my EU opposite number, acknowledged in a speech on Friday, there are a series of ‘unintended consequences’ from the application of the protocol.

The EU began the year by denying there were any problems. Now they admit there are and that fixes are needed.

But so far their solutions don’t deal with the problems. We need more ambition and more urgency if we are to sustain the peace process and protect the Belfast, or Good Friday, Agreement.

The protocol itself says it should ‘impact as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland’. But it is failing to do so.

The core of the problem is that all kinds of goods are not getting to Northern Ireland in the way that they do to the rest of our country, or face extra costs and delays if they do.

Protesters in demonstration as fears grow that the UK government will trigger Article 16 which could see a return to a so called hard border

Protesters in demonstration as fears grow that the UK government will trigger Article 16 which could see a return to a so called hard border

That’s not fair on consumers in Northern Ireland.

As we approach Christmas, we’ve seen a stream of stories about products being banned and services being withdrawn because of the protocol.

Marks & Spencer has had to withdraw its entire Christmas product ‘Click and collect’ service from Northern Ireland because of uncertainties in delivery timetables. These stories aren’t new – they’ve been happening all year.

We have been told of at least 200 retailers who have stopped delivering to customers in Northern Ireland.

We know that many medicines and drugs are being withdrawn. We have seen the Jewish community in Northern Ireland saying they feel at risk because they are struggling to import kosher products from elsewhere in the UK.

Garden centres can’t get many kinds of plants and seeds from the rest of the UK because their import to Northern Ireland is banned.

We are even in a position where plans to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year by planting trees cannot be properly implemented in Northern Ireland because English oaks, and many other trees, can’t be moved there – even though plenty were moved until the end of last year, and as far as I am aware have not all been cut down since.

Maros Sefcovic, pictured, acknowledged in a speech on Friday that there are a series of ‘unintended consequences’ from the application of the protocol

Maros Sefcovic, pictured, acknowledged in a speech on Friday that there are a series of ‘unintended consequences’ from the application of the protocol

Some other services are working only because this Government simply cannot reasonably implement everything the protocol requires.

The EU have tried to take us to their Court of Justice for this. But without this flexibility, every parcel sent to every person in Northern Ireland, whether by Amazon or friends and family, would have needed a full customs declaration.

Even so it’s easy to find online examples of it being actually more expensive to send a parcel to Belfast than to Dublin.

Similarly, it is only because the rules on pet passports are not being enforced that families going to or from Northern Ireland for Christmas can take their pet dogs with them.

As a result of all this, businesses in Northern Ireland are starting to give up on other British suppliers and buy from Ireland or elsewhere in the EU.

Trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland has gone up by 40 to 50 per cent since the start of this year.



Source link

What do you think?

Written by bourbiza

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Billionaire socialite, 31, ditches her husband for his ‘butler in the buff’ rugby player friend

Stonewall brands lesbians ‘sexual racists’ for raising concerns about sex with transgender women