The ban means no trees can be transported from Great Britain to be planted to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year. And Jayne Adye, director of Get Britain Out, also pointed the policy also contradicted the bloc’s supposedly green agenda.
In accordance with the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, UK citizens are being invited to “plant a tree for the Jubilee” for Her Majesty.
However, anyone in Northern Ireland hoping to do so with a sapling grown in the UK will have to think again – because in accordance with the Northern Ireland Protocol, the region is aligned with EU rules in terms of plant health.
As a result, non-EU imports of certain trees are banned.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson yesterday voiced his displeasure at the situation, which he described as “madness”.
Ms Adye agreed, telling Express.co.uk: “The EU claim we simply need to provide certificates of plant health to move these trees to Northern Ireland.
“But these need to be checked at borders and ports, which only creates further bureaucracy for moving goods within the UK.”
If the EU really wanted to check plant health, then they could do so before any trees or other goods cross into the Republic of Ireland, Ms Adye said.
She added: “Otherwise this is nothing more than a charade from Brussels to kick up unnecessary division.
“However, this should be unnecessary, as these trees are intended to be planted in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee!
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had emphasised the EU’s environmental credentials during her appearance at COP26 in Glasgow this month, Ms Adye pointed out.
She said: “The EU loves to chant about their ambitions to help reduce climate change.
“Yet here they are trying to block the planting of thousands of trees which will help absorb carbon dioxide, because they may have British soil attached to their root balls.
“As per usual with the EU, it is ‘Do as I say, not as I do!’.”
Ms Adye continued: “The Northern Ireland Protocol was doomed before it even came into force, but even by the EU’s standards, the lengths they are going to create additional barriers to trade between parts of the United Kingdom is preposterous.
“There should be no doubt in the minds of Lord Frost and the Prime Minister, the EU has no interest in meaningful compromises and will do whatever it can to break up the United Kingdom as punishment for trying to walk away from their plans for a European Federal Superstate.”
Speaking on Wednesday, Sir Jeffrey said: “It is madness that we cannot plant UK trees from the mainland in our own country to celebrate Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee.
“It is offensive that British soil, seeds, plants and trees cannot be transported from one part of the UK to another.”
The Protocol was agreed by the UK and the EU as a way of preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.
However, critics say it has resulted in a border down the Irish Sea instead, because Northern Ireland has effectively remained within the EU’s single market for goods, much to the anger of the Unionist community.
Speculation is mounting that Prime Minister Boris Johnson may soon sanction triggering Article 16, in a move which would suspend the protocol – and enrage Brussels, possibly triggering a full-blown trade war.