Liz Truss Defies US Pressure Not to Review Northern Ireland Protocol, Report Says

© AFP 2023 / PAUL FAITHTraffic passes an "No Hard Border" anti-Brexit, pro-Irish unity billboard poster as it crosses the border road between Newry in Northern Ireland, on February 1, 2020, and Dundalk in Ireland
Traffic passes an No Hard Border anti-Brexit, pro-Irish unity billboard poster as it crosses the border road between Newry in Northern Ireland, on February 1, 2020, and Dundalk in Ireland - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.05.2022
Earlier this week, US House speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that Congress would not support her country’s free-trade agreement with the UK if the British government persists with what she described as "deeply concerning" plans to "unilaterally discard" the Northern Ireland Protocol.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has rejected a plea by Richard Neal, a close ally of US President Joe Biden, to refrain from rewriting the Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol, according to the Guardian.

Meeting Neal, the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, in London on Saturday, Truss reportedly claimed that the protocol is having a severe impact and she could not let the “situation drag on” if the EU did not produce a reasonable solution in the matter.

In a Twitter post, the foreign secretary wrote that during the Saturday meeting, she and Neal discussed, in particular, their “cast-iron commitment to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement” and “the importance of free trade”.
The 1998 Good Friday deal, also known as the Belfast Agreement, ended 30 years of violence in conflict-torn Northern Ireland, establishing devolved power-sharing in the area and a demilitarised Irish border.
The Truss-Neal gathering came a few days after the top British diplomat declared that she had a plan for reworking parts of the NI Protocol if a negotiated solution with the EU fails to see the light of day.
She told the Commons the move was needed to reduce "unnecessary bureaucracy" and to protect the Good Friday Agreement, arguing that the EU's proposals "would go backward from the situation we have today".
A woman walks past past graffiti with the words 'No Irish Sea Border' in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2022
EU Threatens Trade War, Will Use ‘All Measures at its Disposal’ If UK Tears Up NI Protocol
The impasse exacerbated after Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) blocked the election of a speaker at “Stormont”, the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein outperformed the DUP in the 5 May Northern Ireland Assembly election for the first time, prodding unionists to warn they will boycott the new government unless post-Brexit trade rules with the EU are addressed.
Adding fuel to the fire is stern rhetoric by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who warned the UK government against its plans to unilaterally scrap the NI Protocol.
In a statement earlier this week, Pelosi described “The Good Friday Accords” as “the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and a beacon of hope for the entire world”. According to the House speaker, “Ensuring there remains no physical border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland is absolutely necessary for upholding this landmark agreement, which has transformed Northern Ireland”.
“It is deeply concerning that the United Kingdom now seeks to unilaterally discard the Northern Ireland Protocol, which preserves the important progress and stability forged by the Accords,” Pelosi stressed.
This followed Derek Chollet, a senior adviser to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, making it clear that a "big fight" between the UK and the EU was the "last thing" Washington wanted.
Neal has, meanwhile, told The Guardian that part of his job is to convince the UK not to breach the Brexit treaty.

"They haven't breached it yet. They're talking about breaching it, so part of my job is to convince them not to breach it. My purpose is manifold but we really want to reaffirm America's unwavering commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to remind everybody that on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, it has worked splendidly,” he said.

He spoke as Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Michael Martin said that there was "no substitute" for substantive negotiations between the UK government and EU to resolve the NI Protocol­related issues. Martin also called for an Assembly and Executive to be formed at Stormont amid the UK- EU talks, also accusing Britain of "moving the goalposts" over its approach to the protocol.
A man walks past graffiti reading No Irish sea border in the mainly loyalist Donegal road area of South Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
EU Parliament Slams UK Over Northern Ireland's Order to Halt Post-Brexit Agri-Food Checks
The document, which is part of the Brexit agreement that came into force in January 2021, envisages there being no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Under the NI protocol, however, all goods and animal-based products coming from the rest of the British territories must be checked upon arrival to ensure their compatibility with EU sanitary regulations.
The UK government has repeatedly asserted that the protocol is not working, as it causes delays and interruptions to goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The document also angers unionists, who believe their place within the UK could be affected, thus threatening the Good Friday Agreement.
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