Sir Jeffrey was commenting after meeting with Lord Frost on the progress on the current UK/EU negotiations.
Sir Jeffrey said,
“Six months ago, the Government recognised that the political, economic and societal damage being caused to Northern Ireland and its people by the Protocol had resulted in the conditions for triggering Article 16 being met.
The damage of the Protocol has continued to intensify, at an estimated cost of £850 million a year to our economy.
As recognised by the Fraser of Allander Institute, there is no evidence that the Protocol allows Northern Ireland to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Having been forced back to the negotiating table, it is clear the EU continues in its failure to respect Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom.
Through their actions, the European Union threaten the very political institutions in Northern Ireland they claim to espouse.
No amount of window dressing, tinkering around the edges or extensions to so called grace periods will provide an acceptable way forward.
As I made clear to Lord Frost, actions not words are now required by the Government.
The Irish Sea Border must be removed and Northern Ireland’s place within the Internal Market of the United Kingdom fully restored, so that the political institutions can continue to operate.
The Government must now act immediately to signal its intent to honour the commitments made both in New Decade, New Approach and in their Command Paper.
The New Decade, New Approach Agreement, was the basis upon which the NI Executive was restored.
The political institutions here in Northern Ireland can only continue to command the necessary support required, if swift and decisive action is taken.”