Foreign Secretary Liz Truss meets with Maros Sefcovic
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The Foreign Secretary took over Brexit negotiations after Lord Frost suddenly resigned last year. Earlier this month, Ms Truss vowed to trigger Article 16 if there was no cooperation between the EU.
Despite Brexiteers urging Ms Truss to invoke Article 16, Emeritus Professor Adrian Guelke from Queen’s University Belfast, believes the likelihood of Article 16 being triggered has “diminished”.
He told Express.co.uk: “The likelihood of Article 16 being triggered has diminished.
“This already happened before Frost left.
“That may be why he left but the reasons he gave were somewhat different.
“I think he gave the Covid regulations as one of his reasons for resigning.
“But he also criticised the Brexit that Boris Johnson was pursuing.”
Mr Guelke went on to say how much of the heat surrounding issues with the Protocol had been taken from the situation before Ms Truss took over.
He added: “I think Frost is seen as somebody who is more competent than Truss.
“Much heat had been taken from the situation before she took over.
“The threat to trigger Article 16 has gone.
“The objection of the ECJ has been downplayed.
“From time to time both sides with mention Article 16 but it is still in their wishes for the negotiations to work.”
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The Northern Ireland Protocol – agreed by Boris Johnson in the Brexit deal – is designed to avoid customs checks along the Irish border.
It means goods – including medicines – can flow freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
However, goods arriving from the rest of the UK are subject to control to ensure they comply with EU standards.
Following Lord Frost’s resignation, Mr Guelke said Ms Truss was the most “logical” option to replace Lord Frost.
He added: “It would appear that Truss is more interested in securing a deal over the Protocol.
“Truss has a more pragmatic view with relations to the EU going forward than Frost did.
“Truss has always been a Remainer in the past but I think her approach will be more pragmatic than Frost was.
“I think the decision was logical enough to give [Brexit negotiations] to her rather than having a sole minister dealing with it. I think that makes sense.”
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