'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

18 May 2022, 08:35 | Updated: 18 May 2022, 08:42

Foreign Sec: We won't scrap the Northern Ireland Protocol

By Emma Soteriou

The Government will not completely scrap the Northern Ireland Brexit deal, just the bits that do not work, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has told LBC.

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It comes after Ms Truss told MPs on Tuesday that she will bring forward legislation to suspend parts of the Brexit treaty agreed with the EU if no resolution can be found.

However, she reiterated that the UK's preference is to "reach a negotiated outcome" with the EU, echoed by Boris Johnson.

Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Truss said: "Our legislation keeps a lot of key parts of the protocol.

"So, for example, the single electricity market, the north-south relationship.

"What we're doing is changing the bits that don't work, namely the east-west trade part and namely the tax part.

"This is not about scrapping the protocol -we recognise that there needs to be an arrangement to manage this very specific situation but we are making it work better and it still delivers for the EU.

"The EU are no worse off as a result of our solution.

"The single market remains protected, we're supplying the commercial data to the EU and we're enforcing this green lane."

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Liz Truss explains how she plans to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol

"So we would not scrap it under any event?" Nick asked.

"No, we're not proposing to scrap it," Ms Truss said. "What we are doing is changing the bits that don't work."

She went on to explain how she planned to alter the protocol.

"What I'm proposing is that all of the goods that go across the Irish sea that are only destined for Northern Ireland should be in a green channel, so they all go as part of a trusted trader scheme.

"We supply the normal commercial data to the European Union to protect the single market but they don't have to go through the same customs bureaucracy that goods going into the Republic of Ireland face."

Ms Truss previously told the Commons that the protocol needed to be changed and that the EU's proposals "would go backward from the situation we have today".

She said the Good Friday Agreement is "under strain", saying: "Our proposed solution would meet both our and the EU's original objectives for the protocol.

Tensions have continued to rise with the EU in talks over the post-Brexit border rules.

Last month, an LBC exclusive revealed plans were being drawn up to give UK ministers the power to unilaterally ditch key parts of the deal signed with Brussels in 2019.