LONDON - British former prime minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday he had mixed feelings over a deal to ease post-Brexit trade negotiated by the country's new leader, saying it handed control to the European Union.

Johnson, addressing the Global Soft Power Summit 2023, reiterated his argument that the British government should have stuck to a bill he introduced that would all but rip up the so-called Northern Ireland protocol, which has now been renegotiated by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

"When I look at the deal that we have now, I have mixed feelings," he said. "Given that we have got rid of the bill, I can see why so many people are attracted to accepting a compromise."

(Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden)