Brexit was fully implemented nearly eight months ago, but still Brussels and London are tussling over the Northern Ireland protocol. The EU has offered up two sets of proposals – one on medicine and one on food – hoping to end the dispute with the UK. And now Brussels has even paused its legal action against the UK for alleged breaches of the protocol.
The EU has already said it will not renegotiate the protocol but will “consider any proposals that respect the principles” of the deal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit approach to Europe has angered many across the English Channel, but it has also angered many in Ireland, an MEP tells Express.co.uk.
Billy Kelleher, MEP with the Fianna Fail party, said that the narrative in the UK around both Northern Ireland and the vaccine rollout has “grated” with Irish people.
He said: “Unfortunately I think the UK Government has been a bit like Donald Trump, not very worried about what people think about the way it conducts itself
“I think the triumphalism around the vaccine in the early stages of the rollout – there was this obsession in the UK hoping the EU would fail with the vaccine.
“Consistent mutterings from senior Tory figures about how they hope the EU would fail, and that seems to be the continual narrative.
“And that narrative grates on the Irish people, because the Irish people are very pro-European and want to see Europe succeed – equally we want to see the UK succeed.”
Mr Kelleher may want the UK to succeed, but he believes Brexit is the wrong way to go about it.
He added in his interview with Express.co.uk that the UK is “delusional” if it thinks it can thrive without a close relationship with the EU.
The MEP said: “If you are to look at pro-European sentiment and anti-European sentiment since Brexit – Brexit in European terms has been seen as a disaster for the UK.
READ MORE: Brexit row escalates as Irish MEP says Frost ‘acting in bad faith’
Mr Kelleher also condemned the UK’s recent stance on the Northern Ireland protocol, suggesting Brexit Minister Lord David Frost is acting in “bad faith.”
He added: “It’s hard to understand Lord Frost because his signature is at the bottom of that agreement, he signed that agreement. Either he didn’t understand what he was signing in the first place or he is now acting in bad faith.
“Either way it is problematic from his perspective that the agreement he advocated for is now an agreement he no longer supports.
“I think there’s a lot of politics at work here, particularly from the UK, and it is infuriating and annoying because it is undermining the unique position Northern Ireland has in the world.”