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Minister hints UK poised to rip up Brexit deal as he admits ZERO progress in EU talks

Speaking to MPs on a parliamentary committee, Ms Cleverly dashed any optimism of the UK securing a renegotiated agreement with Brussels.

After more than six months of talks on the frictions caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol, he admitted to the European Scrutiny Committee there had been little progress made.

Attacking member states, he blamed EU leaders for the lack of a breakthrough saying that while the bloc’s negotiator, Maros Sefcovic, appeared eager to do a deal, the mandate handed to him was making his job impossible.

Mr Cleverly told MPs: “The truth is that we have come to something of an impasse.

“And I don’t think that’s through a lack of goodwill, and I think it’s more through what we regard in the UK as an overly limited negotiating mandate.”

The minister said he still wished to reach a negotiated settlement with the EU over the Protocol but refused to deny claims that the Government is preparing legislation to overrule aspects of the deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have repeatedly warned they are willing to use Article 16 of the treaty, the legal means to suspend implementation of the deal, if a negotiated solution cannot be found.

The Protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market, with the province forced to continue abiding by rules and regulations set in Brussels.

It also requires customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain.

Unionists say the Protocol in its current form is undermining Northern Ireland’s place as a part of the UK.

More to follow…



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