Boris Johnson claims Dutch PM has offered to mediate on Northern Ireland protocol
Boris Johnson has warned that the post-Brexit issues with Northern Ireland “can’t go on forever” as he claimed the Dutch Prime Minister has offered to mediate on the issue.
Brexit minister Lord Frost has argued that the threshold of triggering Article 16 of the protocol, which would effectively tear up parts of the deal he negotiated, has been met.
So far the Government has resisted taking what amounts to a nuclear option, but Mr Johnson was asked if he could make the move in the days after meeting the US president, Joe Biden.
“I hope everybody knows this isn’t something that the UK Government is trying to stoke up for our own political purposes,” he told reporters travelling with him to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
“On the contrary, we want to fix this, we want common sense. We want no barriers in the UK for trading in our country and it’s crazy at the moment that we’ve got the protocol being enforced or being used in the way that it is.
Speaking to reporters during his trip to Washington, Mr Johnson said the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had come to the UK last week to “see if he could mediate on the issue”.
However, Dutch diplomatic sources told the Guardian Mr Rutte made no such intervention but instead urged Mr Johnson to be “constructive, pragmatic and engage with the commission” during a phone call.