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Boris Johnson fears Brexit trade deal with Northern Ireland could be too many compromises, insiders say

Boris Johnson fears Brexit trade deal with Northern Ireland could be too many compromises, insiders say

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Boris Johnson would be ‘deeply concerned’ that the government will reach a compromise with the EU on Northern Ireland that gives a role to European judges.

The former prime minister fears ministers plan to allow the European Court of Justice to be the final arbiter of EU laws applicable in the province to end the long-running dispute over post-Brexit trade.

The government is stepping up efforts to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol dispute before the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April.

Boris Johnson fears ministers plan to let the European Court of Justice be the final arbiter of EU laws applicable in the province

According to The Sunday Telegraph, the draft agreement would include a layer of protection to prevent the European Commission from taking disputes directly to the Luxembourg courts.

David Jones, from the pro-Brexit European Research Group, said Mr Johnson might be able to speak out. “The opinion of a former prime minister on such an issue is important,” he added.

This week, Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris is in the US to explore investment opportunities and meet with Joe Biden’s special envoy to Northern Ireland, Joe Kennedy III.

Last week, Secretary of State James Cleverly met his counterpart in Washington DC to update him on progress in negotiations with the EU on controls on goods crossing the Irish Sea.

Last week, Secretary of State James Cleverly met with his counterpart in Washington DC

Last week, Secretary of State James Cleverly met with his counterpart in Washington DC

Last week, Secretary of State James Cleverly met with his counterpart in Washington DC

At the same time, however, Brexiteers in the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are organizing their opposition to any concessions that would give the European Court of Justice a role in Northern Ireland.

Last night a government spokesman said: ‘As we have said repeatedly, any solution to the protocol must address the range of issues, including governance and the democratic deficit of how new EU laws apply in NI.’

Ahead of his five-day trip to Washington, Boston and New York, Mr Heaton-Harris said: “As the 25th anniversary of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement approaches, I look forward to discussing the plans of the British government to discuss this important milestone.

“The US and UK share a commitment to abide by the agreement and continue to change Northern Ireland for the better.”

Mr Johnson’s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

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