Frost accuses EU of not honouring one of its obligations to UK under Brexit trade deal
A fresh Brexit row has been blown open with Brussels after David Frost accused the EU of being close to breaching the trade deal struck last Christmas.
He said the UK is now “getting quite concerned” about Brussels delaying ratification of the UK’s participation in the GBP80bn Horizon Europe research programme, costing British scientists their place in pan-European research programmes they traditionally dominated.
He said the UK had “not made a great deal of this” but patience was now running out. “It’s not a very happy place,” he said. Giving evidence to the European scrutiny committee he said:
We are getting quite concerned about this actually. There is an obligation in article 710 of the trade and cooperation agreement to finalise our participation. It uses the word ‘shall’. It is an obligation.
It would obviously be a breach of the treaty if the EU doesn’t deliver on this obligation.
Earlier today the committee claimed scientists were being frozen out of the programmes as punishment for the row over the Northern Ireland protocol.
Separately Lord Frost hinted that there was scope for a deal on the vexed question of a role for the European court of justice in arbitration of disputes involving the Northern Ireland protocol.
He said the system currently in place was one sided and all the UK was asking for “arbitration arrangements that are balanced” .
Some have suggested the EU-swiss model may be acceptable to the UK work as it involves an independent disputes panel with the ECJ used as a last resort.
at 2.15pm EDT
UK already has grounds for triggering article 16 and suspending parts of NI protocol, says Frost
at 11.43am EDT