Liz Truss’ protocol plan to ‘drive downward spiral relationship with EU’, Labour MP warns

Labour MP slams Liz Truss' Protocol plan

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Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Stephen Doughty has warned Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ bill on the Northern Ireland Protocol would seriously harm relationships with the European Union and the rest of the world, as the UK would lose its legitimacy to commit to its trade deals. Liz Truss announced in a much-awaited speech her plan to scrap part of the Northern Ireland Protocol with a series of proposals that, she says, abide by international laws.

Speaking in the House of Commons, MP Doughty warned: “It would drive a downward spiral in our relationship with the EU that will have damaging consequences for British businesses and consumers.

“The right response to these challenges cannot simply be to breach our commitments.

“It is deeply troubling for the Foreign Secretary to be proposing a bill to apparently breach the treaty that the government itself signed just two years ago.

“That will not resolve issues in Northern Ireland in the long term and rather it will undermine trust and make a breakthrough more difficult.”

MP Doughty added the potential consequences breaching the Northern Ireland Protocol could have on foreign relations.

“Speaker, this goes beyond the matter of trade.

“Britain should be a country that keeps its world.

“The rest of the world is looking at us and wondering if we’re a country that they want to do business with.

“When we seek to negotiate new deals abroad, does the government want to make other countries question whether we will keep our end of the bargain?

“There are wide-ranging and damaging repercussions undermining our ability to hold others to account for their own commitments.”

Amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict, MP Doughty added the Protocol should not sow division between the UK and the EU.

“We should for example be pulling together in support of Ukraine, not fuelling divisions with our European allies.

“Mr Speaker, the right approach is for the government and the EU to work together to find practical solutions to these problems, to brief the media less and negotiate more.”

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“There is no long-term unilateral solution, only a solution that works for all sides and delivers for the people”, MP Doughty said. 

“And businesses of Northern Ireland will have the due ability and provide the political stability that businesses crave and the public deserve.

“Unnecessary barriers will only hamper business, inhibit trade and undermine confidence and consent.”

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