Truss says ‘a deal to be done’ on Northern Ireland protocol as she meets Sefcovic

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

Liz Truss says the European Union has a ‘clear responsibility’ to fix the problems caused by Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit deal as she prepares for her first face-to-face talks with Maros Sefcovic .

The Foreign Secretary, who assumed responsibility for the negotiations after Lord Frost resigned, will host European Commission Vice-President Mr Sefcovic on his retreat from Chevening in Kent for talks on Thursday and Friday.

She said the EU must take a “pragmatic approach” to the problems created by the Northern Ireland Protocol, which effectively creates a trade barrier in the Irish Sea for goods from Great Britain. Britain in order to prevent a hard border with Ireland.

Mr Sefcovic will be treated to a dinner of Scottish smoked salmon, Welsh lamb and Kent fruit apple pie.

Northern Ireland Protocol
Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission (Hollie Adams/PA)

Ms Truss said: ‘There is an agreement to be made which protects the peace in Northern Ireland, defends our Union and maintains the integrity of the UK and the EU.

“But this will require a pragmatic approach from the EU.

“I will propose practical and reasonable solutions on the basis of these fundamental principles, with a view to agreeing a plan for intensive negotiations.

“The EU clearly has a responsibility to help solve the myriad problems caused by the Protocol and to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

“As staunch supporters of freedom and democracy, we should be able to reach an agreement that is beneficial to Northern Ireland and allows us to unlock the full potential of our relationship.”