Brexit: Liz Truss says Northern Ireland Protocol 'isn't working'
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Liz Truss is expected to make a statement to the Commons after a full Cabinet meeting, with a new law brought forward before the summer. The Northern Ireland protocol has caused friction in efforts to form a new Executive in Stormont as the Democratic Unionist Party refuses to join an administration with Sinn Fein unless concerns over the post-Brexit arrangement are addressed.
The scrapping of the Northern Ireland protocol would unilaterally remove the need for checks on all goods being sent between Britain and Northern Ireland.
It would also mean businesses in Northern Ireland can disregard EU rules and remove the power of the European Court of Justice in the country.
The protocol was introduced to allow an open border with Ireland, which is within the EU’s single market and customs union.
The move involves rewriting parts of the deal and could risk a trade war with the European Union.
A Foreign Office source said Ms Truss’s priority is to uphold the Good Friday Agreement: “This isn’t about picking a fight with the EU.
“The peace process and acting in the interests of Northern Ireland is what motivates her.”
There are fears that the absence of a functioning devolved Government in Northern Ireland could threaten the peace created by the Good Friday Agreement.
On Monday evening, Ms Truss held calls with Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney and European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic.
She said she highlighted the importance of upholding the Good Friday Agreement and allowing Northern Ireland to establish its Executive.
Mr Sefcovic later said engaging with “flexibilities” offered by the EU would be preferable to taking unilateral action on the protocol.
He tweeted: “With political will, practical issues arising from the implementation of the protocol in Northern Ireland can be resolved.
“Engaging with us on the flexibilities we offer would be a better course of action than a unilateral one. We’re ready to play our part, as from the outset.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Northern Ireland yesterday to hold talks with party leaders.
Speaking to broadcasters during his trip he said the UK needs to “proceed with a legislative solution” to the protocol as “insurance” in case a deal cannot be reached with Brussels.
He added: “We don’t want to scrap it. But we think it can be fixed.”
So what do YOU think? Should Liz Truss rip up the Northern Ireland protocol to protect the Good Friday Agreement? Vote in our poll and join the debate in the comment section below.
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