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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

No need for ‘drama’ ahead of crunch talks on Northern Ireland!

LONDON (CU)_The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is reportedly preparing draft legislation that is aimed at overriding parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland. Although no bill was announced in the Queen’s speech this week, the minister is reported to have asked officials to prepare the draft that would unilaterally scrap key parts of the Northern Ireland protocol, thereby removing the need for checks on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Attorney General Suella Braverman has said that such a move would be lawful since the agreement between the UK and the EU is causing social unrest. According to the government’s chief law officer, signs of violence, like the hoax bomb attack targeting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney a couple of months ago, justified plans to override the deal in order to keep the peace.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday (11 May), dismissed claims of a potential escalatory response from the EU as “crazy”, adding that the Good Friday Agreement was more important than the Northern Ireland Protocol. Doubling down on hints of overriding elements of the deal, the British Prime Minister said there was no need for “drama”. “This is something that just needs to be fixed,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister Truss is scheduled to hold crunch talks on Northern Ireland with the vice president of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic on Thursday. During the call, the Foreign Secretary is expected to tell Sefcovic that the dispute over Northern Ireland cannot drag on. Accusing the EU of proposing solutions that would “take us backwards”, Truss has warned that she would “not shy away” from taking action.

Michael Gove has also backed the idea of legislation to tear up the protocol unilaterally, saying he was “super cool” with it despite reports saying otherwise. On Wednesday, the levelling up secretary said he was relaxed about the plan, when asked how angry he was about the move on a scale of one to 10. “Minus five. I’m super cool with it. I’m a big, big Liz Truss fan,” he said. He went on to note that PM Johnson was an “expert negotiator”, suggesting the threat to ditch the protocol could be part of UK negotiating tactics.

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