BORIS Johnson said last night he wanted to “fix” the Brexit deal, not “nix it” – as Brussels threatened to start a trade war with the UK.
Ministers warned hard-headed EU leaders they must agree to lift their hated border controls or the UK will be forced to make its own unilateral changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Secretary of State Liz Truss said she had no choice but to act to break the NI gridlock and get Stormont back up and running.
She is set to introduce new legislation within weeks to overhaul the Brexit deal by scrapping hated border controls in the Irish Sea.
This will be achieved by creating a new ‘green lane’ with no control of the flow of goods between GB and NI.
A separate ‘red lane’ will be established for goods going to the Republic of Ireland. These will be checked.
Violators of the system will be penalized.
Ms Truss told Parliament: “The Belfast Good Friday Agreement is under pressure and unfortunately the Northern Ireland Executive has not been fully functioning since early February.
“That is because the Northern Ireland Protocol does not have the necessary support from a community party in Northern Ireland.
“Companies face significant costs and paperwork. Some companies have stopped trading altogether.”
Downing Street said talks would continue “in parallel” with the EU. Legislation can be shelved if there is a breakthrough.
Although the UK said it wanted to work with the EU, Brussels reacted with anger.
The Prime Minister said: “The text makes it very clear at first glance that we should ensure east-west trade and the integrity of the UK internal market.
“So let’s fix it. We don’t want to ruin it, we want to fix it and we will do our best to make it happen.”
Enraged EU leader Maros Sefcovic said the bloc would retaliate with “every measure at its disposal” – fueling fears of a trade war.
Maros Sefcovic, the vice-president of the European Commission, said that if the UK takes unilateral action, the EU must “react with all the measures at its disposal”.
The comments were seen as a threat to hit the UK with retaliatory tariffs.
Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the move “damages confidence and will only make it harder to find solutions”.
It came as long-promised plans were put before the House of Commons to save British troops from onerous prosecutions for serving during the Troubles.
The law provides for a time limit on criminal prosecution.
But IRA terrorists must reveal their secrets and help victims’ families find bodies to qualify for amnesty.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5362798/boris-johnson-brexit-deal-fix-northern-ireland/ Boris Johnson promises to ‘fix’ and not ‘nix’ the Brexit deal as the EU threatens a trade war