Brexit latest news: ‘Sore losers!’ VdL and Barnier blasted over relentless threats to UK | Politics | News

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Rutger van den Noort, founder of Nexit Denktank, lambasted EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier over their relentless threats to the UK.

The pair of EU chiefs have continuously attacked Britain over its decision to leave the bloc and issued threats over the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement signed with the UK, he said.

Last month, when the European Parliament finally ratified the deal in Brussels, Ms von der Leyen said the EU “will not hesitate” to use dispute resolution mechanisms stipulated in the agreement if the UK breaches the accord.

On the same day, Mr Barnier, who led the European Union’s negotiations with the UK, said Brexit is a mark of failure.

Mr van den Noort told “They’re just sore losers and they cannot do any different because if they were to be totally friendly with the UK after the UK decided to leave, then it would only engage other countries to follow the same route.

“So the day made an agreement among themselves in the beginning: ‘We are going to be like big a**holes to the UK all the time. Because if we are going to be those guys, it will scare off other countries’.

“And it is the case that, for example, in the Dutch media, they adopt that frame of the UK being the stupid guys to leave the EU and the EU being the land of milk and honey, where everyone should be.

“And if you leave you’re stupid and so on.

“So it is just to engage that media and to get that word out there that makes people think that they made the right decision to stay rather than to advocate the perfect decision of the British people to get out.”

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The UK and EU are at loggerheads on efforts to reduce some of the bureaucracy the arrangements have created on the movement of goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

Mrs Dodds was responding to an Assembly question from Caoimhe Archibald who had urged the minister to develop a strategy to enable the region to maximise the “opportunities” offered by the protocol, in particular the “unique” ability to trade freely into the UK internal market and EU single market.

Sinn Fein MLA Ms Archibald said Invest NI had highlighted 30 new inward investment opportunities since the beginning of the year.

However, in her reply, DUP minister Mrs Dodds emphasised the problems the protocol had created.

She said: “In relation to the protocol, we must absolutely sort out the damage that the protocol is doing to those supply chains and those businesses that I write weekly to Lord Frost about and the difficulties they are encountering with their trade from GB to NI.”

Mrs Dodds added: “Many of the difficulties that businesses encounter are not because of Brexit, they are actually because of the protocol, and they’re because parties in this House voted and have stridently asked for the rigorous implementation of that protocol.

“So we really do need to look at the whole picture for investment in Northern Ireland and we need to offer people a holistic view of what Northern Ireland has to offer.

“And I do hope that government is listening and will listen and indeed that the EU will stop on this stubborn trajectory of punishing Northern Ireland, and not helping it, as it claimed so many times in the past it was willing to do.”

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