UK's Truss set to ditch N.Ireland protocol after giving up on EU talks -The Times

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British Foreign Minister Liz Truss speaks during an interview with Reuters in The Hague
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(Reuters) -British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is set to ditch large parts of the Northern Ireland protocol after giving up on talks with the European Union on a Brexit deal, The Times reported.

Officials working for Truss have drawn up draft legislation that would unilaterally remove the need for all checks on goods being sent from Britain for use in Northern Ireland, the report added.

The legislation would also allow businesses in the province to disregard EU rules and regulations and take away the power of the European Court of Justice to rule on issues relating to Northern Ireland, The Times reported.

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told Reuters: "No decisions have yet been taken on the way forward, however the situation is now very serious.

"We have always been clear that action will be taken to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement if solutions cannot be found to fix the Protocol. Our focus has been, and will continue to be, preserving peace and stability in Northern Ireland."

The Times report comes after the European Union's envoy to Britain said on Monday that the bloc was ready to restart talks on the Northern Ireland protocol after a pause due to recent elections but would not overhaul the arrangement that is central to post-Brexit trading rules.

The report said Truss is understood to have concluded that talks with the EU have hit an impasse and that Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission Vice-President, does not have the mandate to agree an acceptable deal.

The move to ditch parts of the protocol was expected next week, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel and Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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