Liz Truss accused of Brexit betrayal as MP unleashes fury: Confidence has evaporated!

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss meets with Maros Sefcovic

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DUP MP Gregory Campbell warned the Foreign Secretary the repeated delays to taking the legal means to suspend the most damaging aspects of the treaty had led to Unionists fearing ministers are unwilling to follow through on the threat. Ms Truss failed to make a breakthrough in discussions when she met with her EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic in Brussels yesterday.

The pair will now meet again next week, with talks dragging into their fifth calendar month.

At the outset of talks, Britain warned it would trigger Article 16 if the EU failed to compromise in negotiations.

The Government said it wanted swift discussions which should take no longer than three weeks but has since repeatedly extended talks on the Protocol.

Confronting Ms Truss in the Commons, the East Londonderry MP said: “Is the Secretary of State aware that confidence in Northern Ireland that the Government is going to take decisive action on this and do it quickly has evaporated? And we need to see that action taken immediately.”

Unionists argue the Protocol has undermined the UK’s internal market.

They say bureaucratic customs checks imposed by the EU has hampered the free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Under the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Northern Ireland effectively remains in the EU single market, bound by its rules and regulations.

Ms Truss told MPs she was are of the urgent need to resolve the frictions caused by the Protocol but that a negotiated deal with the EU would be the best outcome.

She said: “I am working very hard with my EU counterparts to resolve the very difficult situation in Northern Ireland, and it is needed that we sort this out as soon as possible.

“That’s why we are in intense negotiations.

“I do believe there is a deal to be done and I think that is in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland, the people of Great Britain, and also the people of the EU.”

In a joint statement released by Ms Truss and Mr Sefcovic yesterday, the pair said talks had taken place in a “constructive atmosphere”.

They said they had “reaffirmed their shared desire for a positive EU-UK relationship underpinned by our shared belief in freedom and democracy, and co-operation on common global challenges”.

The UK first said the threshold to trigger Article 16 had been met last July.

Since then there have been repeated threats to carry out the ultimatum but ministers have not followed through.

More to follow…

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