It comes after a senior minister claimed that the EU’s rigid approach on Northern Ireland was being heavily influenced by an “anti-Brexit” and “anti-British” French regime.
The minister claimed Emmanuel Macron’s hostility towards Brexit and Britain, rather than a genuine concern about the goods trade on the island of Ireland threatening the EU’s single market, was behind France’s hard line on Northern Ireland.
Tory sources told The Telegraph that the EU is likely to offer sufficient concessions for the Government to agree to enter several weeks of talks from this week.
But the UK could trigger Article 16 at the end of those discussions next month if Brussels fails to meet Lord Frost’s “red lines”, including the replacement of the ECJ’s role in the Protocol with a form of international arbitration.
On Sunday night, Lord Frost took to Twitter to respond to a post by Simon Coveney, the Irish minister for foreign affairs, who accused the UK Government of creating a new red line “as a barrier to progress that they know the EU can’t move on”.
Mr Coveney asked whether the UK wanted “an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations”.
Lord Frost responded that the issue of governance and the European Court of Justice was “not new”, but said the “problem is that too few people seem to have listened”.
He added that the Government awaited proposals from Brussels and would “look at them seriously and positively whatever they say”. He said they will be discussed “seriously and intensively” but warned that “there needs to be significant change to the current situation if there is to be a positive outcome”.