The UK government will not cave in over the role of the European Court of Justice despite a leading law professor warning Britain is set for ‘serious suffering’ because of its Northern Ireland ‘unrealistic’ ambitions.
British officials said this week’s talks with Brussels have been “constructive”, after the EU proposed new solutions to help ease trade barriers imposed by the Brexit deal signed by both Britain and the bloc.
But government sources said the two sides continue to be “far apart” on the Northern Ireland Protocol, because of UK’s insistence to scrap the overseeing role of the European Court of Justice.
A UK government source told The Independent: “The talks this week were constructive and we’ve heard some things from the EU that we can work with – but the reality is that we are still far apart on the big issues, especially governance.
“There’s been plenty of speculation about governance this week but our position remains unchanged: the role of the European Court of Justice in resolving disputes between the UK and EU must end.”
The source added: “We need to see real progress soon rather than get stuck in a process of endless negotiation because the issues on the ground in Northern Ireland haven’t gone away.”
According to the newspaper, the government is still threatening the EU with suspending the agreement made on the Protocol if it does not get its way – just as EU officials are set to meet with Brexit minister David Frost next week.
Earlier this week, a law professor told The London Economic that the UK society, economy and trade are suffering from “serious problems” caused by Boris Johnson’s pursuit of a ‘hard Brexit’.
In a meeting hosted by Cambridge For Europe, Dougan expressed a dim view of the Tory government’s insistence to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol and scrap the European Court of Justice and the Human Rights Act.
The leading Brexit commentator told TLE that the Tories are “ripping up the only workable plan” without having a replacement to offer.
He said the government’s insistence to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol is “rather lacking in realism”.
He explained the government’s position: “We’re not prepared to make compromises, and we just want everything. We want to have our hard Brexit, we want to not have a border across the island of Ireland, and we don’t want to have a border down the Irish Sea. And we want you, the EU, just to give that to us.”
The professor said it is “objectively impossible” to have everything it wants: “The question has been, which one of those things are you willing to sacrifice? Is it your hard Brexit? Is it peace in Ireland? Or is it unionist identity in Northern Ireland? Which of those three things do you care least about?”