That wont work! Liz Truss mistaken belief strategy will fail to resolve Brexit quandary

Brexit: UK pushing ‘politicisation of the issue’ says Zuleeg

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A European Union expert has accused the UK government of playing dirty negotiation tricks during the Brexit talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol. Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and the EU’s Brexit Commissioner Maros Sefcovic failed to break a stalemate over how to solve the Northern Ireland issue. The protocol has gained renewed attention after the DUP blocked the formation of a Northern Irish Government amid fears the Irish Sea border would distance Northern Ireland from Great Britain and further exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis.  Secretary Truss has so far outright dismissed all proposal Mr Sefcovic tabled to break the deadlock.

For the chief executive of the European Policy Centre (EPC) Fabian Zuleeg, the UK is politicising the Northern Ireland talks.

Speaking to, Dr Zuleeg said: “I think what we’ve seen on the UK side – it’s not the first time so this is a continuation – it’s a politicisation of the issue.

“Trying to negotiate through newspapers, through public opinion rather than actually engaging at the technical level.

“I think this is in part a question of a mistaken belief that threats work in negotiations.”

“That you can get something out of the European Union if you threaten enough”, Dr Zuleeg continued. 

“But I think it is also reflecting the political dilemma for the UK Government to get Brexit done.

“They’re saying something which in the end also has consequences particularly uncomfortable for the Government.

“So, this is a denial of responsibility for something which in the end, they created.”

The UK and the EU bilaterally negotiated and signed the Northern Ireland Protocol in January 2020.

To protect the Good Friday Agreement and the EU’s single market, both sides agreed to create customs checks in the Irish Sea instead of putting up a border between the two Irelands.

But now the DUP is rejecting it on the grounds the border is hiking up prices in Northern Ireland and separating it further from Great Britain.

Dr Zuleeg continued: “There are ways we can go through this.

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“There will always be a certain level of difficulty because of this dilemma.”

“Ultimately, if you have created an international trade border, then you will have to have checks somewhere”, Dr Zuleeg said. 

“So, there cannot be a situation which was therefore before when the UK was part of the EU’s single market.”

Liz Truss has threatened with scrapping parts of the Protocol with a new bill that could put the whole Brexit trade deal at risk. 

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