EU ‘sabre-rattling’ in vain as UK hits torpedo – bloc bids for ‘leverage’ over Brexit deal

Davis says Truss is Brexiteer now because it's become 'suitable'

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The European Commission announced on Friday they had launched four legal actions against the UK for breaking parts of the Northern Ireland Brexit deal. It comes after the Foreign Secretary’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which overrides parts of the agreement, passed through the House of Commons.

Ms Truss’ Bill would introduce the concept of green lanes and red lanes for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, overriding customs rules erected post-Brexit with the Protocol.

The concept would see goods coming from Great Britain into Northern Ireland and which are staying use the green lane, with no checks and minimal paperwork.

British goods moving through Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland or the wider EU would use the red lane and continue to be checked at Northern Irish ports.

London also wants any trade disputes resolved by “independent arbitration” and not by the European Court of Justice, and for Northern Ireland to benefit from the same tax breaks as elsewhere in the UK.

Brussels views the Protocol bill as a clear breach of international law and has urged the UK to “step back” from its approach.

However, both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak have backed the Bill, and have criticised the Protocol’s implementation.

David Jones, MP for Clwyd West and Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group, told Express.co.uk: “Liz Truss has made her position clear by pushing the Bill through the commons.

“She clearly believes the Protocol needs to be revised, unilaterally if necessary, because it was she and her team who drafted the legislation.”

However, he also added: “Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have said they are committed to enacting the Bill and seeing it through Parliament. I don’t think there would be any disagreement there.

“The EU can rattle all the sabres they want, by the time they get round to (legal proceedings), the legislation will have been passed.”

Mr Jones also told Express.co.uk: “The EU has refused to negotiate in good faith with the UK even though they have acknowledged the damage the Protocol is doing to civil society in Northern Ireland.

“It is quite clear they are using it for leverage. We can’t allow the Protocol to continue to cause problems to Northern Ireland, and the UK Government is entirely right to take the action it has done.

“If the EU wishes to take proceedings, those proceedings will probably be fruitless as the Bill will already be enacted before the court case starts.”

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A spokesperson for Mr Sunak’s leadership campaign said: “The European Commission is interfering with our sovereign right to control our own e-commerce rules and set out our own taxes.

“As a believer in Brexit from the beginning, Rishi has been clear that he would continue with the Northern Ireland protocol bill until and unless the EU says it is willing to come to the table to re-negotiate the contents of the protocol.

“Based on what we’ve seen today the Commission is committed to taking petty and unwelcome steps that infringe our sovereign rights rather than addressing the real issues of the protocol.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Bryson, Unionist Voice editor, also told Express.co.uk: “The latest aggressive action by the EU not only seeks to further their objective of impeding GB to NI trade, but remarkably now seeks to impede NI to GB trade.

“This was of course always the next logical step towards the EU’s objective of tearing NI out of the UK & subjugating us within an economic United Ireland.

“I am bemused as to why any self respecting citizen of the UK is continue to support these EU zealots.’

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