Liz Truss ‘committed to Northern Ireland Protocol Bill’ despite negotiations with EU

Pressured Prime Minister Liz Truss has reiterated her commitment to the Northern Ireland Protocol, saying all negotiations with the European Union will “reflect the same position”.

s Truss faced her first session with questions from the Prime Minister since she sacked her former chancellor and abandoned most of her previous economic policies.

The Prime Minister was tasked with introducing the Protocol Act during her time as Foreign Secretary under Boris Johnson.

The legislation, currently going through the House of Lords, allows ministers to suspend some post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland if a negotiated settlement with the European Union cannot be reached.

The Northern Ireland Protocol aimed to avoid a hard border with Ireland, but created economic barriers to the movement of goods between Britain and Northern Ireland, prompting resentment and anger from many trade unionists and loyalists.

The dispute has deadlocked efforts to form a devolved government administration in Belfast.

The UK government has promised to secure changes to the protocol, either through a negotiated compromise with the EU or through proposed national legislation.

In response to a question from her colleague David Jones, Ms Truss said: “I fully support the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, it addresses the very specific issues we face in Northern Ireland of free movement and ensuring the security of the People from Northern Ireland can benefit from being part of the UK.

“I can say to my honorable friend that all negotiations will reflect the same position as set out in the Protocol Act.”

Meanwhile, Ms Truss issued a public apology during questions from Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister told MPs: “I have made it very clear that I am sorry and that I have made mistakes.”

On Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt reversed almost all of the tax cuts announced by his predecessor, Kwasi Kwarteng, in September as he tried to calm financial markets after weeks of turmoil.

Ms Truss told MPs: “In these circumstances it is right to make changes that I have made and to continue with the work and deliver for the British people.”

Shouts of “resign” could be heard as she spoke.

The PM is struggling to keep her position and has risked a new battle with Tory MPs by voting on a Labor proposal on fracking to test confidence in her government.

She told MPs ‘I’m a fighter, not a slacker’ as she fought to save her job – echoing Labor great Peter Mandelson’s 2001 statement.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer asked: “What good is a Prime Minister whose promises don’t last a week?”

He said: “Last week the Prime Minister stood there and promised absolutely no spending cuts, everyone cheered. This week the Chancellor announced a new wave of cuts. What good is a prime minister whose promises don’t last even a week? “

Liz Truss replied: “Well, I can assure (him) that spending will increase next year and the year after, but of course we have to value taxpayers’ money.

“The Labor Party has pledged hundreds of billions in spending, none of which they have withdrawn, (he) must reflect economic reality in his policies.” Liz Truss ‘committed to Northern Ireland Protocol Bill’ despite negotiations with EU

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