Brussels refused to compromise with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Thursday morning when she met with EU commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ms Truss was holding last-minute talks with her EU counterpart in a final bid to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol signed as part of the Brexit divorce deal between the UK and EU.
The UK Government is reportedly drawing up legislation to unilaterally scrap the need for checks on all goods being sent between Britain and Northern Ireland.
The law would also mean businesses in Northern Ireland can disregard EU rules and remove the power of the European Court of Justice in the country.
The new bill would override the Northern Ireland protocol agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019 and breach the UK’s obligations under the Brexit agreement.
The protocol, which came into force in January 2021, effectively created a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The UK has wanted to reverse the agreement arguing that the bureaucratic burden is overwhelming businesses.
Ms Truss is provisionally looking to announce the bill on Tuesday, May 17, if there is no movement from the EU, according to Politico.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The Foreign Secretary outlined why EU proposals would take us backwards, by creating more checks and paperwork.
“Vice President Šefčovič confirmed that there was no room to expand the EU negotiating mandate or introduce new proposals to reduce the overall level of trade friction.
“The Foreign Secretary noted this with regret and said the situation in Northern Ireland is a matter of internal peace and security for the United Kingdom, and if the EU would not show the requisite flexibility to help solve those issues, then as a responsible government we would have no choice but to act.”
Mr Johnson also introduced seven new Brexit Bills in the Queen’s speech earlier this week.
These are intended to make the most of Brexit by capitalising on the regulatory freedom that comes with leaving the bloc.
He said his Government has a “relentless drive to deliver on the promise of Brexit”.
Mr Johnson said on Sunday: “I’m proud that my Government is capitalising on the immense opportunity that our newfound Brexit freedoms bring.”
He added: “These Bills will allow us to thrive as a modern, dynamic and independent country, and this government is getting on with the job of delivering them.”
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