Liz Truss is prepared to ‘capitulate’ to the EU over the dreaded deal and do what ‘Frost couldn’t bear.’
Former MEP Ben Habib has claimed that Liz Truss’ refusal to invoke Article 16 of the Lisbon Treaty amounts to “capitulation” on Brexit.
Mr Habib, who was one of 29 Brexit Party candidates elected to the European Parliament in 2019, is concerned that the Foreign Secretary will accept the European Court of Justice’s role in Northern Ireland, which he and many other Brexit Party members find unacceptable.
Following the resignation of Lord David Frost, Ms Truss was appointed as the new Brexit negotiator.
Since then, the Tory MP for South West Norfolk has talked about “picking up the pace” in Brexit talks with Brussels, and on Thursday, he will host Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.
Mr Habib, who led an unsuccessful legal challenge to the protocol last year, was pessimistic about her ability to deliver a satisfactory result.
“Many will argue that the Foreign Secretary has only recently taken over Lord Frost’s job and thus cannot be judged on her commitment to reclaiming Northern Ireland,” he told this website.
“They are mistaken.
Her travel path is already known.”
The Northern Ireland protocol, a contentious mechanism aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, is at the heart of many of the concerns.
According to critics, the protocol has resulted in a border down the Irish Sea by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
Mr Habib said of Ms Truss, referring to the means by which the UK could suspend the protocol, “If she meant business, she needed to invoke Article 16, setting in motion a formal period of one month in which to reach agreement with the EU.”
“Negotiations have already dragged on far too long.”
Mr Habib stressed that one month, if formally invoked, would have been “more than enough” to determine whether any agreement with the EU was possible.
“Instead, she’ll meet with her Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, before entertaining the EU’s chief negotiator, Maros Sefcovic, at Chevening,” he added.
“The truth is that the government has already given up most of its power.
By refusing to invoke Article 16, it has done so.
“The goal of Liz Truss’s meetings is to deliver the capitulation in the most unobtrusive manner possible.”
“Brinkwire Summary News”: “By further aligning the UK with EU, she will dull the optics of the Irish Sea border.”