Brexit: Liz Truss says Northern Ireland Protocol 'isn't working'

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The Government is adamant the arrangements introduced to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland are undermining the Good Friday Agreement which underpins the peace process. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is understood to be “deeply concerned” that the EU’s reluctance to change its position will lead to political instability in the province.

Britain had hoped the EU would change its stance following close co-operation between the UK and European allies over Ukraine.

A Foreign Office source said: “It’s incredibly disheartening that despite the political and economic damage the protocol is causing in Northern Ireland, the Commission continues to adopt such a rigid and hard-line negotiating position.

“The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement is being undermined and the situation is now very serious. Both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have always been clear that action will be taken if solutions can’t be found.

“The Assembly elections are now over and we need to see the EU move significantly. Our focus has been, and will continue to be, preserving peace and stability in Northern Ireland.”

According to the Government source, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic made it clear in a phone call with MsTruss on April 28 that the EU did not have, and in his view would never have, a mandate to renegotiate the protocol.

Last month it was reported the Government is preparing legislation to allow it to stop checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

It is feared unionist parties will refuse to join Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government unless their concerns about the protocol are addressed.

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