Truss to Announce Plans to Rip up Northern Ireland Brexit Deal

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

By Amy Gibbons and Dominic McGrath (PA)

The Foreign Secretary will declare her intention to bring forward legislation which rips up parts of the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal on Northern Ireland.

It is understood that Liz Truss will make the announcement in a statement to the Commons following a full Cabinet meeting, in an attempt to restore power-sharing in the region.

The row over the Northern Ireland Protocol has created an impasse in efforts to form a new Executive in Stormont, with the Democratic Unionist Party refusing to join an administration unless its concerns over the arrangements are addressed.

A majority of MLAs in Stormont’s newly elected Assembly represent parties that support retaining the protocol, with many arguing that the arrangement offers the region protection from some of the negative economic consequences of Brexit.

They also point to the unfettered access Northern Ireland traders have to sell into the EU single market as a key benefit of the protocol.

The move to rewrite parts of the deal could risk a trade war with the European Union.

But a Foreign Office source said “this isn’t about picking a fight with the EU”, saying that Ms Truss’ priority is to uphold the Good Friday Agreement.

“The peace process and acting in the interests of Northern Ireland is what motivates her,” they said.

The PA news agency understands Ms Truss’ ambition is to lay the legislation in Parliament within a couple of weeks, and certainly before the summer.

But the overwhelming preference is thought to remain a negotiated solution.

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