Truss prepares to announce plans to rip up Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal

Liz Truss is understood to make the announcement in a statement to the House of Commons after a full Cabinet meeting, in a bid to restore power-sharing in the region.

The dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol has created an impasse in efforts to form a new Executive in Stormont, with the Democratic Unionist Party refusing to join an administration unless its concerns about arrangements are addressed.

Most MLAs in the newly elected Stormont Assembly represent parties that support retaining the protocol, with many arguing that the deal offers the region protection against some of the negative economic fallout of Brexit.

They also point to the unrestricted access Northern Ireland traders have to sell in the EU’s single market as a key benefit of the protocol.

The move to rewrite parts of the deal could spark a trade war with the European Union.

But a Foreign Office source said “this is not about fighting with the EU”, saying that Ms Truss’s priority is to defend the Good Friday Agreement.

“The peace process and acting in the interests of Northern Ireland is what motivates her,” they said.

The PA news agency understands that Mrs Truss’s ambition is to present the legislation in Parliament within a couple of weeks, and certainly before the summer.

But it is believed that the overwhelming preference remains for a negotiated solution.

The Global Britain (Strategy) Committee, which considers matters relating to the UK’s business priorities, will meet first on Tuesday, followed by the full Cabinet, before Mrs Truss delivers her statement to the House of Commons. .

On Monday night, the Foreign Secretary held calls with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney and European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic.

In both, Ms Truss underlined the importance of upholding the Good Friday Agreement and reinstating the Northern Ireland Executive.

Sefcovic later said that committing to the “flexibilities” offered by the EU would be preferable to taking unilateral action on the protocol.

He tweeted: “With political will, the practical problems arising from the implementation of the protocol in Northern Ireland can be resolved.

“Engaging with us on the flexibilities we offer would be a better course of action than a unilateral one. We are ready to play our part, right from the start.”

It comes after the Prime Minister traveled to Belfast to meet Stormont party leaders in a bid to secure progress.

He also used Monday’s trip to warn Brussels that the UK is prepared to unilaterally rewrite the terms of the Brexit deal it signed.

Johnson described that plan as an “insurance” policy in case a new deal with the EU could not be reached.

The threat of unilateral action has already gone down badly in European capitals, with EU leaders urging the UK government to engage fully in the talks.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Monday that the only way to resolve the dispute was “substantive talks” between the UK and the EU.

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