Liz Truss says she’s ‘trusted on Brexit’
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The UK Government has been working with Brussels officials to come to an agreement over the Northern Ireland Protocol for approaching two years. Talks have stalled on countless occasions, particularly on the aspect of the treaty which requires goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland (that is, from one part of the UK to another) to undergo checks.
America has waded into the row on more than one occasion, with the House of Representatives Speaker earlier this year describing UK plans to tear up the Protocol under a bill introduced by Liz Truss as “deeply concerning” and threatening to cut off the possibility of a US-UK free trade deal.
Mrs Pelosi yesterday decided one intervention was not enough, and doubled down on her claim that such a deal would be taken off the table if the UK choses to “undermine the Good Friday Agreement”.
She yesterday met with Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill to discuss the Protocol.
Following their meeting, Mrs O’Neill wrote in a post on Twitter: “As I get ready to head back to Ireland, it was a great pleasure to meet up with the most influential woman on Capitol Hill, Speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi.
“Nancy restated her position, There will be no trade deal with Britain if they undermine the Good Friday Agreement.”
Ben Habib has now hit back against the intervention, arguing that Mrs Pelosi’s argument is without proper grounds and is a mere partisan jibe.
The former Brexit MEP said it was the Protocol itself – not the tearing up of the agreement – that poses a threat to peace in Northern Ireland. And more – that the leading Democrat knows this.
He told Express.co.uk: “The Protocol presents an existential threat to the United Kingdom; indeed it has already partitioned the country with a border down the Irish Sea. Johnson’s government has fundamentally failed the UK.
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“As it happens the Protocol also breaches the Belfast Agreement. That agreement promotes East/ West relations equally alongside North/ South ones.
“The Irish Sea border is an affront to the Belfast Agreement.
“I would direct Nancy Pelosi to read that agreement before she again admonishes the UK for ‘threatening the Protocol and therefore the Belfast Agreement’.
“But, of course, she knows full well what the Belfast Agreement says.”
The Brexit Watch Chairman added: “It suits her to ignore the facts and instead to parrot Sinn Fein’s lines.
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“It suits her because she wants to see Northern Ireland unified with the Republic of Ireland.
“She, like Irish Nationalists, does not see the Belfast Agreement as a final settlement. She sees it as a staging post for the creation of a unified Ireland and the destruction of the United Kingdom.”
Foreign Policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher Nile Gardiner, who now operates in the US, agreed that Mrs Pelosi’s “agenda is the break up of the UK”.
He wrote in a post on Twitter: “Nancy Pelosi sticks the knife into Britain, yet again, while embracing far Left IRA bedfellows Sinn Fein.”
Reports earlier this week suggested that Brussels officials are planning to take an even harder line in negotiations when a new prime minister is chosen in the UK.
They hope the next Tory leader will be keen to make an agreement quick – however favourable or unfavourable this is for the UK – in order to claim a win ahead of the next general election, according to the Telegraph.
But Mr Habib insisted this was the worst thing the next PM – whether it be Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – could do.
He said: “The Protocol is a massive step towards her illegitimate aim. Our Government must ignore Mrs Pelosi and any other pressure put on it not to ditch the Protocol.
“Our Government must keep firmly in mind its primary duty – that is its obligation to the British people – not Nancy Pelosi.”
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