Wednesday, February 21

Johnson calls foreign aid cut row ‘lefty propaganda’

Talks designed to end the conflict between the UK and the EU over Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal have ended without a breakthrough, Lord Frost has said.

The Brexit minister said he had had a “frank and honest discussion” with his European counterpart, but that there had been no overall agreement.

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said that Brussels had engaged “creatively and tirelessly” to reach a deal on the controversial Northern Irish protocol.

Mr Sefcovic told a press conference: “Over the past years, the EU has engaged creatively and tirelessly to find solutions that would provide businesses and people in Northern Ireland the stability, minimise the inevitable disruption caused by Brexit and protect the EU’s single market and Ireland’s place in it.

“In December last year, we agreed to a range of solutions with the UK, including grace periods for certain products or flexibilities regarding documentation because the UK was not technically ready to implement the protocol for its entry into force.

“Since then, we continued working on permanent solutions that are feasible, for example, the continued supply of medicine to Northern Ireland, something I personally take very seriously, especially in this time of pandemic.”

Key Points

  • ‘Inconceivable’ that the PM did not understand consequences of NI protocol, says former government adviser
  • EU should show ‘pragmatism and common sense’, says Frost
  • Gove broke law over Covid contract, court rules
  • Tories ‘complicit with criminals’ due to justice cuts, Labour says
  • School catch-up funding too low, union suggests