Truss calls for ‘practical solutions’ to end N Ireland Protocol deadlock

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic at Chevening earlier this month (Ben Stansall/PA) (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic at Chevening earlier this month (Ben Stansall/PA) (PA Wire)

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called for a “practical solutions” to resolve the deadlock with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Ms Truss is travelling to Brussels for her second meeting with European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic since taking over responsibility for the talks following the resignation of the Brexit minister Lord Frost.

Following their first encounter at the Foreign Secretary’s country residence at Chevening in Kent earlier this month, the two sides agreed officials would enter into “intensified talks” in preparation for Monday’s meeting.

It is expected that Ms Truss and Ms Sefcovic will hold a “closed” session with just the two principals present before opening up the discussions to include senior UK and EU officials.

The focus must be on protecting the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and fixing the protocol

Liz Truss

In a statement ahead of the talks, Ms Truss said: “Fundamentally this is about peace and stability in Northern Ireland.

“Whether you voted Leave or Remain, represent the UK or EU, the focus must be on protecting the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and fixing the protocol.

“Rather than re-running past arguments, we need to focus on delivering for the people of Northern Ireland, finding practical solutions to problems on the ground and maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom.”

The Government is seeking substantial changes to the protocol – which forms part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement – arguing that it is hampering the free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and damaging community relations.

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