‘No reason for EU to take action’ Truss downplays Brussels threat to challenge Brexit Bill

Liz Truss says 'No reason for EU to take action' against Brexit Bill

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The European Union said it will take legal actions against the UK over the government’s new legislation, which will change some parts of the Northern Ireland protocol. In light of the EU reaction to the move, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss hit back at the EU and reassured the Brexit Bill “makes the EU no worse off”. She revealed her preference was “to secure a negotiated agreement with the EU”, but added, “they won’t change the text of the protocol and that’s why the UK Government is obliged to act”. 

Liz Truss told LBC: “Our proposal, which we are putting forward in the bill and legislating, makes the EU no worse off.

“They continue to protect the single market.

“We are supplying the EU with commercial data about everything that crosses the Irish Sea.

“We’ve got enforcement to make sure nobody is violating the green change in sending goods into the Republic of Ireland.

“So there is simply no reason for the EU to take any action.

“This legislation doesn’t make them any worse off at all.

“First of all the reason we’re doing this is to protect the Belfast Good Friday agreement and the political stability of Northern Ireland.

“We need to sort out these issue about east-west trade.

“We need to make sure the people of Northern Ireland can access the same tax benefits as the people of Great Britain.”

She added: “My preference has been to secure a negotiated agreement with the EU.

“But the reality is that they are saying that they won’t change the text of the protocol.

“And these problems, whether it’s on customer or on tax, are baked into the protocol itself.

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“That’s why the UK government is obliged to act.

“What we’re seen over the past few years is the problems in Northern Ireland getting worse.

“I think initially we thought we could make it work, but that simply hasn’t happened.

“The effects of the customs bureaucracy for goods crossing the Irish Sea is meant that some companies have stopped trading.

“Other companies have seen a rise in their costs. So what we’ve seen is simply not working.

“And if something isn’t working and is causing political instability, it is the responsibility of the United Kingdom government to act”.

The vice-president of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic reacted to the UK government’s Brexit Bill announcement and claimed renegotiating the agreement is “unrealistic”.

He also added: “As the first step, the commission will consider continuing the infringement procedure launched against the UK government in March 2021.

“We had put this legal action on hold in September 2021 in the spirit of constructive cooperation to create the space to look for joint solutions. The UK’s unilateral action goes directly against the spirit.”

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