LONDON – Britain is still looking to resolve a dispute with Brussels over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, a senior minister said when pressed on reports Britain is preparing to unilaterally tear up parts of the deal.
In an interview with ITV News, Britain’s Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis declined to confirm several reports that legislation paving the way for Britain to ignore parts of the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol is being prepared for the Queen’s speech next week. This speech marks the opening of a new parliamentary session and sets the UK government’s agenda.
Asked if the UK was preparing to announce such a plan, Lewis said: “Our focus is on resolving the issues with the protocol, ideally we want to do this in agreement with the European Union.”
Pressed further on whether an announcement would be forthcoming next week, he said, “No … we didn’t say that.”
And he added: “What was clear to us at the moment is that the protocol is causing problems in civil society, it is causing problems with the Good Friday Agreement. It is our duty to the people of Northern Ireland to resolve these issues. Yes, we want to do that with the EU and that’s something [Foreign Secretary] Liz Truss focused on Liz Truss.”
UK ministers have previously conceded that the government is considering a number of options if talks go ahead with the European Commission over the protocol drawn up to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit, but at Northern Ireland deeply unpopular with unionists – failing to provide solutions. But they have stopped voicing their thoughts publicly.
half-timbered she repeated to her Irish counterpart Simon Coveney Wednesday night that the protocol “isn’t working” while the Irish minister said her during the same phone call this “unilateral action [is] not the way forward.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-still-wants-deal-with-eu-on-northern-ireland-brexit-rules-minister/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication UK still wants deal with EU on Northern Ireland's Brexit rules - Minister - POLITICO