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Frost resignation should be opportunity for more pragmatic approach says Alliance

Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry MP, has responded to the resignation of Lord Frost as the UK’s Brexit negotiator and expressed his hope that this would lead to a more pragmatic and constructive approach, but warned that a more confrontational approach would be hugely damaging and unsustainable.

Stephen Farry stated: “It is far from clear what the true reasons for David Frost’s resignation as the UK’s Brexit negotiator. But it does come in the context of an apparent softening of the rhetoric on Article 16 and redlines around the role of the European Court of Justice.

“While it remains to be seen who will now be appointed to this role, hopefully we see a less confrontational and more realistic approach around the Protocol. We should build on momentum from the breakthrough on medicines and find pragmatic solutions to the other challenges. Unionist politicians need to de-escalate their rhetoric of pulling out of institutions.

“By contrast, any hardening of the UK approach, including the triggering of Article 16, would be a dead-end, but would only entail huge damage for Northern Ireland politically and economically, and bring a destructive trade war for the UK.

“There is simply no escaping from the Brexit law of physics. Any hard Brexit will require special arrangements for Northern Ireland. But in recognising that we must do all we can to ease the burden of checks and the level of friction, alongside taking advantage of the relative opportunities from dual market access.”