Brexit: Liz Truss says Northern Ireland Protocol 'isn't working'
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Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he urged for the UK and the EU to intensify negotiations in a call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.
Mr Matin tweeted afterwards: “We both agreed on the need to see the NI Executive formed as soon as possible.
“On the Protocol, I stressed need to intensify EU and UK discussions, and to avoid any unilateral action.”
It comes as the Foreign Secretary will reportedly move as early as next week to ditch parts of the protocol after giving up on Brexit negotiations with Brussels.
The Times reported officials working for Ms Truss have drawn up draft legislation to unilaterally remove the need for checks on all goods being sent from Britain for use in Northern Ireland.
The law would also ensure businesses in Northern Ireland are able to disregard EU rules and regulations and remove the power of the European Court of Justice to rule on issues relating to the region.
The bill would override the protocol agreed in 2019 and mean the UK had breached its obligations under the Brexit agreement.
Ms Truss is understood to have concluded talks with the EU and has been told the proposed law could lead to a bitter trade war with the bloc.
The protocol effectively creates checks on goods flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland in order to allow an open border with Ireland, which is within the EU’s single market and customs union.
It comes after reports of a Cabinet rift over Ms Truss’s plans to scrap chunks of the protocol.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Communities Secretary Michael Gove are understood to be among those opposing the move.
Meanwhile, the DUP insists it will not allow the formation of a new government in Northern Ireland unless there are major changes to the protocol.
Downing Street has played down the reported Cabinet row.
Asked about the Government’s position on the protocol and if there are divisions in the Cabinet over proposals to unilaterally scrap it, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I wouldn’t say that at all.
“I think our preference has always been for a negotiated solution to fix the protocol and we have been clear that we will take further steps if solutions can’t be found.
“No decisions have yet been taken on the way forward. The Deputy Prime Minister made clear the situation, it’s very serious.”
The spokesman said the proposals put forward by the European Commission “don’t go anywhere near far enough to make the protocol sustainable”, adding: “We believe (they) would take us backwards from where we are today. So no decisions have been taken. But we do reserve the right to take action.”
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