Liz Truss criticised by host as he claims 'charity starts at home'
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Ms Truss and Attorney General Suella Braverman reportedly clashed with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Levelling up Minister Micheal Gove over the plans. It was eventually agreed that businesses in Northern Ireland will be subject to “dual regulation” in effect the need to follow UK and EU rules in a bill to be unveiled next week.
However, a plan for an automatic “sunset clause” demanded by Brexiteers ensuring that EU jurisdiction would disappear after a few years was rejected.
Mr Sunak won the right for the Treasury to alter VAT in Northern Ireland while keeping it at the same level in the rest of the UK.
A source told The Daily Telegraph: “He wants the power to be able to do it if he wants to.”
The Foreign Secretary and Ms Braverman were backed by other cabinet ministers, including Kwasi Kwarteng, Dominic Raab and Brandon Lewis.
The International Trade Secretary Anne Marie Trevelyan lined up with Mr Grove and Mr Sunak.
A source told The Daily Telegraph that Prime Minister Boris Johnson used colourful language in the meeting.
He also surprised many in the meeting by initially siding with Mr Gove and Mr Johnson.
He said: “Very clearly that our objective is not to be sovereignty purists but to find solutions that work in practice.”
One Brexiteer Cabinet source told the broadsheet that Mr Gove has “been fighting hard on the Protocol bill to keep the EU aligned.”
A second source told the same publication that it was “still a good Bill … but not 100 percent, which is unnecessary and a shame.”
However, one source close to Mr Gove and Mr Sunak told The Daily Telegraph that the meeting contained “a lot of this feather fluttering from leadership wannabes” keen to impress the pro-Brexit Tory base.
A Downing Street source defended the new legislation on the protocol insisting that it had to be balanced to protect Northern Ireland’s trade with the Republic of Ireland as well as Great Britain.
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Ministers are hoping that the proposals will placate the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) who have been informed of developments by the Northern Ireland office.
They are also hoping that the DUP will now agree to participate in talks to restore power sharing at The Northern Ireland Assembly.
However a number of Brexiteers have threatened to vote down the bill if it fails to placate DUP anger over the Irish sea border.
Sir Bernard Jenkin MP for Harwich and North Essex warned that the bill must offer a prospect of the return of power sharing at Stormont.
He said: “If the Government does not bring forward a bill which holds out the serious prospect of the restoration of power-sharing in Northern Ireland, and the restoration of the Good Friday agreement, I will vote against it.”
Sir Ian Duncan Smith who led the Conservatives between 2001 and 2003 said The Good Friday Agreement was an “absolute priority”.
He said: “The Good Friday Agreement is also itself an international agreement and it is an absolute priority that the Good Friday Agreement should function as a priority above all else.”
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