Brexit POLL: Should MPs vote for Liz Truss’s Northern Ireland plan to save Brexit?
Liz Truss and David Lammy clash over Northern Ireland
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MPs are due to debate Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’s latest legislation, the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, on Monday, June 27, which will give ministers the power to overrule parts of the Brexit deal. The bill was first introduced last month and is viewed as necessary to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement.
The bill will have a formal Commons second reading on Monday afternoon despite the EU complaining the legislation will breach international law.
Ms Truss is expected to tell MPs that the bill will ease customs checks, inflexible regulation, tax-and-spend discrepancies and democratic governance issues.
The Foreign Secretary explained her reasoning in the Financial Times on Sunday: “The Northern Ireland Protocol is currently undermining the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, the foundation of peace and political stability.
“Aside from its many practical problems, it has created a growing sense that the rights and aspirations of some parts of the community are being undermined.
“Ideally, we would fix these problems through negotiation, but the EU has ruled out changing the text of the Protocol.
“Northern Ireland has been without a fully functioning executive since February because of the Protocol, at the time of a cost of living crisis and many other challenges.”
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has refused to enter a power-sharing executive with Sinn Fein in protest over the Protocol, leaving the nation without a functioning Government.
On Sunday, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said he believes there is widespread support for the plans to override the Protocol.
He told the BBC he expects “a good majority for this legislation when it goes through”.
When asked about a timeframe for the restoration of the executive Mr Lewis said: “I can’t speak for the DUP and Jeffrey Donaldson…that’s very much a matter for them, but I am very clear, I would like to have seen Stormont back up and running already.”
EU representatives have claimed that the passing of the legislation would breach international law by unilaterally changing an international pact without agreement from both sides.
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EU ambassador to the UK, Joao Vale de Almeida, told Sky News on Sunday: “We are not dismissing but we read it very carefully and we think, to be very frank, that it is both illegal and unrealistic.
“It is illegal because it is a breach of international law, a breach of EU law, UK law and international law.
“It is a treaty that we signed, ratified and even went through a general election in this country.”
So what do YOU think? Should MPs vote for Liz Truss’s Northern Ireland plan to save Brexit? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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