LONDON (dpa-AFX) – The British government has issued an ultimatum to the EU with the unilateral termination of the special Brexit rules for Northern Ireland. The situation in the British provinces is a question of peace and security for the United Kingdom, Foreign Minister Liz Truss said on Thursday in a conversation with EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic. If the EU does not show flexibility to solve the problems, “as a responsible government we would have no choice but to act,” Truss said.
According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, the EU minister wanted to set a deadline of 72 hours. If the EU then does not move, Truss will prepare legislation to repeal the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Northern Ireland Protocol from the Brexit Treaty is intended to prevent controls at the border with the EU member Republic of Ireland. In return, however, a customs border has been created between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. The British government and supporters of the Union therefore fear alienation from London.
The Northern Ireland protocol has become the biggest hurdle for the formation of a regional government in the part of the country, said Truss according to the message. The situation is causing “unacceptable disruption” to intra-British trade and has resulted in a two-tier society in which Northern Irish people are treated differently from other UK residents.
In the Northern Ireland regional parliament, the majority of MPs support the protocol. However, the main Protestant Unionist party, the DUP, is calling for the regulation to be scrapped. Otherwise she wants to refuse the planned unity government with the Catholic-Republican party Sinn Fein.