Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says ‘there is a deal to be done’ on NI Protocol

Ms Truss said she was taking a ‘constructive approach to these negotiations’ as she faced cross-party questions on the status of the talks.

Elizabeth Arnold
Tuesday 25 January 2022 15:52
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (Aaron Chown/PA)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (Aaron Chown/PA)

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has told MPs she believes “there is a deal to be done” to resolve the deadlock over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit arrangements.

Speaking in the Commons during FCDO questions, Ms Truss said she was taking a “constructive approach to these negotiations” as she faced cross-party questions on the status of the talks.

Conservative Philip Hollobone (Kettering) warned: “Two years on from Brexit, can she confirm that disputes cannot go unresolved forever and this situation has to be brought to an end sooner rather than later?”

Ms Truss acknowledged the “urgency of this situation”, adding: “Which is why we have been holding intensive talks with the EU to resolve the very real issues there are for traders in GB and Northern Ireland.

“We do need to make sure that we maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the UK and we fix this issue once and for all.”

We need to make sure that the dispute resolution mechanism under the Protocol is in line with that in the UK-EU trade and cooperation agreement and end the role of the ECJ as the final arbiter.

Liz Truss

DUP MP Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry) said: “Is the Secretary of State aware that confidence in Northern Ireland that the Government are going to take decisive action on this and to do it quickly has evaporated and we need to see that action taken immediately?”

Ms Truss replied: “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’re in intensive negotiations.

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

The SNP’s Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) asked: “Does the Foreign Secretary not recognise that demands to exclude the ECJ (European Court of Justice) are confrontational and suggestions that Article 16 removes the Protocol in its entirety are misleading and creating unrealistic expectations within Northern Ireland?”

Ms Truss told MPs: “I’m taking a constructive approach to these negotiations, I was in Brussels yesterday, meeting (European Commission vice-president) Maros Sefcovic.

“I do believe there is a deal to be done that helps protect peace and political stability in Northern Ireland, that enables the free flow of goods between GB and Northern Ireland and our officials are negotiating all this week.

“I’ll be seeing Maros Sefcovic again next week to make positive progress.”

Ms Truss added: “The fact is that the Northern Ireland Protocol is not working. We need to make sure that the dispute resolution mechanism under the Protocol is in line with that in the UK-EU trade and cooperation agreement and end the role of the ECJ as the final arbiter.”

Responding to a question from Labour’s Hilary Benn (Leeds Central), Ms Truss said: “Our view is that the type of arbitration mechanism we need is the type in any standard trade agreement which is an independent arbitration mechanism.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in