Ireland's Simon Coveney hits out at Liz Truss's Brexit power play and claims UK move 'damages trust'

Mr Coveney’s comments are in line with the European Union’s response to the announcement

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Ireland’s foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney has slammed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss after she laid out plans to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Coveney says he “deeply regrets” the UK Government’s decision to introduce legislation.

He added that such unilateral action “is damaging to trust and will serve only to make it more challenging to find solutions to the genuine concerns that people in Northern Ireland have about how the Protocol is being implemented”.

Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney
Liz Truss in the House of Commons
Liz Truss in the House of Commons

The minister added it was “contrary” to the wishes of people and businesses in Northern Ireland, but welcomed Ms Truss’s preference for a negotiated solution with the EU.

Mr Coveney’s comments are in line with Brussels' response to the announcement.

The minister retweeted a post from European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, who aired his concerns.

Mr Sefcovic wrote: "Significant concerns about the announcement by the UK Government.

"Unilateral actions are not acceptable.

"The potential of the flexibilities proposed by the European Commission is yet to be fully explored.

"They can deliver a real difference on the ground."

Their comments come after Ms Truss announced in the House of Commons today that she intends to bring forward legislation within weeks to scrap parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

She added that the UK’s preference is to “reach a negotiated outcome” with the EU, while also insisting that the proposed bill is "consistent with our obligations in international law".