James O'Brien tears into Dominic Raab's words on Northern Ireland Protocol

9 May 2022, 12:20

James O'Brien has tore into words uttered by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab about the Northern Ireland Protocol.
James O'Brien has tore into words uttered by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab about the Northern Ireland Protocol. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Sam Sholli

James O'Brien has tore into words uttered by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab about the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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His words have come after Mr Raab told LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday that in order to bring "stability" in Northern Ireland, the protocol must be "dealt with".

Mr Raab's comments have come amid fears that forming an executive in Northern Ireland will be stalled after Thursday's local elections saw Sinn Fein become the nations' biggest party for the first time.

The unionist DUP has said that it will not take part in a power-sharing devolved government with Sinn Fein unless progress is made on the protocol - which was agreed by Boris Johnson's Government as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

The Deputy Prime Minister has also told Times Radio: "Frankly if the Northern Ireland Protocol had been implemented in a less dogmatic, rigid, and I have to say political way, I don't think we'd have these problems.

"In the way it's been applied by the EU there's more than a whiff of politics about it.

"But come what may, we've had these debates for months now. We're going to fix the problem and the Prime Minister has been very clear about that."

In response to Mr Raab's desire for the Protocol to have been implemented in a "less dogmatic, rigid, and...political way", James said: "I mean, what does Raab think the negotiations were about?"

He also said: "This is so frustrating, but I shall explain it. You can't implement stuff that hasn't been negotiated."

James later added: "The reason why the EU turned up with flipping boxes of paperwork at the first meeting and David Davis turned up with a cheese and pickle sandwich in a Tupperware box is because they understood what was at stake and we were still living in cloud cuckoo land.

"The fact that we're still living in cloud cuckoo land is actually even perhaps beyond belief for James O'Brexit. I find it staggering."

James went on to say: "The Protocol is a political hot potato. It's the hottest of political hot potatoes.

"But for ordinary geezers and geezeresses on the streets of Northern Ireland, what does it mean? Because Dominic Raab isn't going to tell you. He doesn't even know what day it is. You wouldn't trust him to boil an egg."

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