Liz Truss grilled over ‘timescale’ of Protocol
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The threat comes days after the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss threatened Brussels with nullifying parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the name of protecting the Good Friday Agreement. The EU negotiator Maroš Sefčovič told the South West Norfolk MP last Thursday that there could be no change to the Protocol.
Lord Frost, Ms Truss’ predecessor in Brexit negotiations, previously told President Joe Biden to “butt out” of the ongoing row over the Northern Ireland Protocol and to “stop lecturing” the UK.
Mr Biden weighed in on the row and advised Boris Johnson to show “leadership” by continuing negotiations and not ripping up the Protocol, which he suggested was designed to protect the Good Friday Agreement by maintaining an open border on the Emerald Isle.
A White House spokesperson said: “The best path forward is a pragmatic one that requires courage, co-operation, and leadership.
“We urge the parties to continue engaging in a dialogue to resolve differences and bring negotiations to a successful conclusion.”
In an article for The Telegraph on Tuesday, Ms Truss called the Good Friday Agreement the “bedrock on which the modern, thriving, Northern Ireland is built”.
She added that the “preference is to reach a negotiated outcome with the EU” but suggested there are no signs of the bloc budging on these negotiations.
In a written statement, Ms Pelosi wrote: “As I have stated in my conversations with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and Members of the House of Commons, if the United Kingdom chooses to undermine the Good Friday accords, the Congress cannot and will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the United Kingdom.”
This follows a warning from Brussels of a potential trade war if the UK moves ahead with its legislation.
Pelosi continued: “It is deeply concerning that the United Kingdom now seeks to unilaterally discard the Northern Ireland protocol, which preserves the important progress and stability forged by the accords.
“It continues to enjoy strong bipartisan and bicameral support in the United States Congress.”
She added: “Respectful of the will of the British people and of Brexit, I urge constructive, collaborative, and good-faith negotiations to implement an agreement that upholds peace.
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“The children of Northern Ireland, who have never known the bloody conflict and do not want to go back, deserve a future free of the violence where all may reach their fulfilment.”
The statement comes after the newly appointed special envoy for the Northern Ireland Protocol in the US, Conor Burns, paid a visit to Washington.
The Brexit-backing Bournemouth West MP, who was appointed as a Northern Irish Minister in September 2021, had to explain the UK’s position on the Protocol to the Biden administration and to Congress.
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