‘Is it a threat?’ UK fires warning shot as EU under pressure to cave on Brexit talks

Northern Ireland: UK 'will legislate' if necessary says Tory MP

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Minister of State of Northern Ireland Conor Burns openly said “[the UK] will legislate in the interest of the country” to resolve the disagreement over the Brexit protocol. He contemplated the possibility of unilateral action from Britain if the EU and the UK will not find a compromise. When asked whether the statement was a trade war “threat” to the EU, he responded “it’s just a reality” as he claimed “the most important thing for us is to fix [the protocol] and get revived devolved Government in Northern Ireland”.

Mr Burns said: “We hope that the EU will re-engage with us in a spirit of compromise and create the necessary space to allow us to find a way through that.

“But we will legislate in the interest of our own country if that’s what it comes to.

GB News presenter Tom Harwood asked “Is that a threat?”

Mr Burns pointed out: “No, it’s just a reality.

“We cannot stand by as the government of the United Kingdom whilst this is going on in Northern Ireland.

“And there isn’t a local government in Northern Ireland delivering for our citizens in the six counties.”

He continued: “The most important thing for us is fixing this.

“And fixing it so we can get revived devolved government in Northern Ireland.

“This is more important to get this right for our United Kingdom and for communities in Northern Ireland than almost any other foreign policy or economic objective.

“And that is our determination.

“Brexit has not failed.

“We’ve got a technical problem which is informed now by 18 months of data in Northern Ireland, and we’ve got to fix this”. 

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss set out plans on Tuesday for a bill that would make key changes to the NI protocol.

In light of the new bill, she said: “Our preference is to reach a negotiated outcome with the EU.

“We have worked tirelessly to that end and will continue to do so.

“To respond to the very grave and serious situation in Northern Ireland we are clear that there is a necessity to act to ensure the institutions can be restored as soon as possible”.

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