An EU commissioner has warned Boris Johnson against letting Conservative party “machinations” determine his pick for the next Brexit negotiator.
EU Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, who was Ireland’s appointment to the European Commission, called Johnson’s refusal to compromise with the EU “untenable” and said she hoped Britain would reciprocate on concessions made by Brussels.
Last night it was revealed that Frost will resign from his post as Brexit secretary has deepened Johnson’s leadership crisis and thrown the future of negotiations between the EU and UK into uncertainty.
“I would hope that the mood will be towards compromise and problem solving, not Conservative Party politics, which I’m afraid takes the eye off the real … issues, and will drag out this into next year, which is not good for Northern Ireland,” McGuinness said while speaking on Irish state radio RTE.
“If people [in London] are of the view that there will be no compromise, then there will be no progress and that’s untenable,” she said.
“If the priority is simply to appease hardliners in the Conservative Party, I think we are in a very bad place,” she said, calling for the government to “focus on Northern Ireland” instead of “the internal machinations of the Tory Party.”
Northern Ireland has formed a central focus of ongoing discussions between the EU and UK in recent months. Brexit minister Frost has been attempting to renegotiate an agreement which requires goods sent between Britain and Northern Ireland to undergo customs checks to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland which is an EU member.
Frost cited the government’s policies on taxation and Covid-19 restrictions as his rationale for leaving.