ARTICLE 16 DEADLINE SET – Liz Truss gives the EU just four weeks to backdown.

Liz Truss has given the EU till the end of January to make progress on the Northern Ireland Protocol during Brexit negotiations. 

There is speculation that the Foreign Secretary, who took up Brexit discussions from Lord Frost last month, wants a swift resolution to the long-running debate. 

Next Thursday, she will have her first face-to-face meeting with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic since assuming her new position. 

Liz Truss will hosting a dinner at Chevening House, her grace and favour residence, to propose her idea to calm the tensions in negotiations. 

Once they’ve broken through the impasse, they’ll resume discussions on the following day. 

In July 2021, the UK proposed amendments to the Protocol, while the EU presented its own recommendations in October of the same year. 

The Protocol would be suspended if an agreement could not be reached by the middle of November, as threatened by Lord Frost, who promptly initiated discussions to find a solution. 

However, negotiations went on for a long time and broke up before Christmas. 

Unionists and Brexit supporters are fed up with the government’s inaction and want the treaty suspended immediately if a deal cannot be achieved. 

In their view, the Protocol’s present structure threatens the internal market of the United Kingdom by restricting commerce between the United Kingdom and the province of Northern Ireland. 

They warn that if tensions rise, the Good Friday peace accord might be jeopardised. 

In the event of no agreement, Ms Truss is expected to tell the EU that she would not hesitate to take action. 

According to the Telegraph, a Foreign Office source stated: “Liz has invited Sefcovic over at the earliest opportunity and wants to go full speed ahead with talks.”

“She wants urgent progress.”

“She is determined to get this thing done and find a fair, proportionate and durable solution that genuinely solves problems and protects the Good Friday Agreement.”

“She wants a constructive relationship with Sefcovic and the EU and to get off on the right foot.”