The United Kingdom has set out steps to try to break the deadlock with the European Union on post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, lining up a new law that would effectively override parts of a deal and further inflame ties with Brussels.
In a statement to parliament on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said planned legislation would ease the movement of goods, apply the UK’s tax regime in Northern Ireland and hand London more say over the laws governing the province.
She repeatedly told members of Parliament that the legislation would not break international law and would only be brought in during the coming weeks, eager to underline a desire to press on with talks with Brussels to try to find a negotiated solution.
But despite EU warnings about taking unilateral action, the new law would change parts of the so-called “Northern Ireland protocol”, agreed with the bloc as part of a Brexit deal.
The EU said it “will need to respond with all measures at its disposal” if the UK goes ahead with unilateral changes.
The announcement by Truss “raises significant concerns,” European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in a statement.
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