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'Your Government told lies': Liz Truss grilled by caller over Northern Ireland border checks

24 May 2021, 17:05 | Updated: 24 May 2021, 18:14

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Liz Truss has confirmed the Government's plan to scrap Northern Ireland border controls after an LBC caller accused ministers of lying about Brexit trade rules.

During Call the Cabinet, the Trade Secretary said the Government wants to make the selling of goods between Great Britain and NI "as smooth as possible" after months of arguing between Westminster and Stormont over checks and paperwork.

The caller repeated Boris Johnson's speech to Parliament where he stated that "no British Prime Minister could countenance an Irish Sea Border" as part of a Brexit deal - a border which he later agreed to implement.

"He told lies, your Government told lies, in Parliament," the caller said.

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Asked by LBC's Nick Ferrari if the current rules were a "border by another name", Ms Truss said: "Of course Northern Ireland is an integral part of the UK.

"There are issues to work out about the operation of the Northern Ireland protocol and this is what Lord Frost is working on exactly the type of issues that have just been mentioned."

Liz Truss was grilled by an Northern Irish LBC caller who accused the Government of lying about Brexit border checks
Liz Truss was grilled by an Northern Irish LBC caller who accused the Government of lying about Brexit border checks. Picture: LBC

A new raft of checks on goods at the ports of Belfast and Larne under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol have sparked anger among unionists and loyalists who feel the country is being separated from the rest of the UK.

But Ms Truss denied that there was a border down the Irish Sea.

"What there are is processes that have to be gone through and that has always been the case, there have always been processes," she said.

"What we're doing is trying to make sure that the Northern Ireland protocol works as smoothly as possible.

"My job as Trade Secretary is making sure that we're able to sell goods from Northern Ireland around the rest of the world."

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Talks are continuing between the UK and EU over solving some of the issues with the protocol, with the outgoing DUP leader Arlene Foster and her successor insisting it must be scrapped as soon as possible.

Incoming leader Edwin Poots claimed border checks were "undeliverable" and indicated he may order officials to halt border checks if the issue is not resolved soon.

Watch the full Call the Cabinet interview with Liz Truss here.