You’re by now probably familiar – over-familiar, maybe – with the good Lord Frost. He’s the unelected figure leading the British charge against the protocol, which was signed up to by the British government, only now they’re suffering buyer’s remorse and want to call the whole thing off.
The EU, in its announcement yesterday, has smoothed out wrinkles in some 80% of the protocol. Despite the fact that the UK voted for Brexit, despite the British having signed up to this document which they’re now flailing and wiggling to get out of, the EU has stretched itself to breaking point to accommodate them. As the EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic put it, “We have completely turned our rules upside down and inside out”.
The UK politicians have now moved on, however, and our now declaring their opposition to any input by the European Court of Justice, even though all the objections were to matters of trade and not even Jeffrey Donaldson came up with a whimper of complaint about the ECJ.
And finally, just to check if you’re awake, who do you think made these statements in 2016?
“So all these arrangements would leave the UK with less access to the single market than before. Would this be outweighed by freedom to negotiate our own trading arrangement with other countries? A simple bit of maths shows the answer is no.”
Or this: “If, as in the case of the UK, a country is already part of a customs union and has already adapted its trading arrangements to it, the case for change has to be overwhelming. It isn’t.”
Or this: “In short, even the best case outcome can’t be as good as what we have now.”
Or this: “If I were a UK negotiator in these circumstances, I would be thinking of bringing stability and predictability in this period”.
Yes, you’ve guessed right. These are the words of the good Lord Frost, when he still had his brain engaged and a smidgen of principle in his soul.
How times and people change.