The UK will act ‘unilaterally’ if there is no agreement with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol

British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday backed a “negotiated agreement” under the Northern Ireland Protocol, although she warned that the UK would act “unilaterally” if there was no solution to the dispute. with Brussels.

Brussels announced in June its decision to reactivate the judicial process against the United Kingdom for violating the protocol agreed between the 27th Council and London for Northern Ireland, a file it opened in March 2021 but chose to stop in an unsuccessful attempt to give space for negotiation between the parties.

The First Minister explained: “We have always been clear that we want to resolve the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol, ideally with a negotiated agreement, but we agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill because we could not achieve a negotiated agreement.”

The law, which is based on the Westminster Rules, which is being advanced in Parliament, would enable ministers to break parts of the agreement without EU approval, according to Newsweek.

Truss has made it clear that she is “open to negotiation”, as long as those trade deals are resolved after Brexit. In this sense, he explained, the goal was that “the people of Northern Ireland could benefit from the same tax advantages as the people of Great Britain.”

“This means that there is trade between East and West that flows freely, and also trade between North and South that flows (in the same way),” he said, adding that the goal was “to treat both communities in Northern Ireland as a fair way”. He told the BBC, as reported by the newspaper “The Guardian”.

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The Stormont Assembly has a process to restore the institution of independent government in Northern Ireland now with the Republican Party Sinn Féin at its helm, after winning the election last May.

Faced with this crisis, the British Prime Minister indicated that she had reassured “all” politicians with whom she spoke that the main thing was for the Council to work again. “The people of Northern Ireland need a government,” he said.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Wednesday that London was now ready to engage in a “sincere, open and serious” dialogue on the Northern Ireland Protocol. Consequently, he said the messages from the British government were “totally different” from those received in recent months.

Sinn Fein, led by Michelle O’Neill, won 27 of the 90 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the election and is currently the first political force ahead of the Democratic Unionist Party (25) and the Alliance Party (17). The Ulster Unionist Party has nine seats, and the Social Democratic Party and the Labor Party have eight.

Sacha Woodward

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