Liz Truss outlines 'necessity to act' on Northern Ireland protocol
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Liz Truss announced on Tuesday that a new law would be introduced to change the post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland alongside further talks with the European Union. A row over the Northern Ireland protocol’s impact on trade has caused friction in efforts to form a new Executive in Stormont.
The Democratic Unionist Party refuses to join a power-sharing administration with Sinn Fein unless concerns over the post-Brexit arrangement are addressed.
There are fears that the absence of a functioning devolved Government in Northern Ireland could threaten the peace created by the Good Friday Agreement.
The Northern Ireland protocol was introduced to allow for Northern Ireland to remain aligned with the EU single market and have an open border with Ireland, which is within the EU’s single market and customs union.
The scrapping of the protocol would unilaterally remove the need for checks on all goods being sent between Britain and Northern Ireland.
It would also mean businesses in Northern Ireland can disregard EU rules and remove the power of the European Court of Justice in the country.
Express.co.uk asked readers’ opinions on whether or not Ms Truss should rip up the protocol to protect the Good Friday Agreement.
In a poll that ran from 9am on Tuesday, May 17, to 10am on Wednesday, May 18, Express.co.uk asked: “Should Liz Truss rip up Northern Ireland protocol to protect Good Friday Agreement?”
In total, 2,324 people responded with the overwhelming majority – 94 percent (2,187 people) – answering “yes”, Ms Truss should rip up the Northern Ireland protocol to protect the Good Friday Agreement.
Meanwhile, six percent (135 people) said “no” and just two people said they did not know.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts.
Many readers were in favour of Ms Truss scrapping the Northern Ireland protocol with one, username JohnJ writing: “Just get on with it and scrap the thing or shut up and get on with it. One way or another, just do something!!”
Username SanjayP wrote: “No more dither and delay. Get it done. Remove all EU influence in Northern Ireland.”
And username bladerunner said: “Should’ve been done months ago…”
While username FlameStrike said: “At the very least there has to be a greater ease of instant effortless trade flow between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.”
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Ms Truss proposed that the new law would not scrap the trade deal but make changes, such as freeing the movement of UK-made goods from “unnecessary bureaucracy”.
In response, the EU said it would “need to respond with all measures at its disposal” if the UK enforced the legislation.
Meanwhile, European Union Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic said any unilateral action raises “significant concerns”.
Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said the unilateral action being explored by the UK was “damaging to trust”.
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While DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson did not confirm if his party would return to Stormont he said the party would take “cautious” steps to re-engage.
He also said his party wanted to see progress in “days and weeks” and “not months”.
Other readers also expressed concern about the scrapping of the protocol.
Username rkrav12 said: “There will be consequences to unilaterally ripping up an international agreement.”
While username Birdmaniw said: “If there is cooperation on both sides of the border, there is no reason why the Good Friday Agreement can’t be maintained.”
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