Frost to be quizzed on NI Protocol future and Brexit divorce bill
15 July 2021
Lord David Frost will be questioned by MPs on the European Scrutiny Committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Brexit divorce bill in a 45-minute session on 19 July.
Purpose of the session
The UK’s chief negotiator with the European Union is likely to be pressed by the Committee on the nature of proposals on how the Government intends on dealing with the Protocol that he is widely expected to publish before 22 July.
Last week, Lord Frost told the Policy Exchange think tank that concerns surrounding the Protocol were ‘central’ to UK-EU tensions adding that he thought reaching a constructive relationship with the block wouldn’t happen without an agreed solution. On Thursday, Frost warned peers that the recent spike in trade across the Irish border was a sign that Northern Irish firms were finding it too difficult to use their preferred suppliers in Britain. Lord Frost is responsible for overseeing the Protocol with EU counterpart Maroš Šefčovič.
Meanwhile, reports emerged last week that the EU estimates the Brexit divorce bill to stand at £40.8bn – higher than the Government’s own estimate of between £35bn and £39bn. The financial settlement, agreed on the UK’s withdrawal to ensure that any outstanding obligations - like pension contributions - were paid for, might become a further sticking point for UK-EU relations. The Treasury have since stated that the EU’s estimate may not reflect the net figure the UK will have to pay, cash will also be repaid to the Treasury, such as from UK funds in the European Investment Bank and European Central Bank.
Monday 19 July
- Rt Hon. Lord David Frost, Minister of State, Cabinet Office, UK Government
- Julian Braithwaite, Director General, EU, Cabinet Office.
Image: Crown Copyright