BBC leaves Truss stunned with extraordinary claim Brexit move similar to Russia invasion

Liz Truss says 'No reason for EU to take action' against Brexit Bill

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Presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme Mishal Husain left the minister shocked after suggesting the decision to impose legislation to protect Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom was similar to Vladimir Putin’s barbaric assault on Kyiv. The BBC employee suggested the UK’s actions meant Britain’s reputation was damaged when standing up to the Kremlin’s aggression.

Last night the Government published new legislation that it intends to bring to Parliament that would overrule aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The implementation of the deal, signed as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement in 2019, has been accused of having a catastrophic impact on trade within the UK’s internal market.

Bureaucratic customs checks imposed by the EU have made it much tougher for goods to cross the Irish Sea from Britain to the province.

Ministers decided to take unilateral action to fix the problems caused by the Protocol after Brussels refused to renegotiate its terms.

While the Government has published legal advice which says the Bill is legal, the EU has accused Britain of planning to breach international law with the proposals.

Comparing the UK’s action to Russia, Ms Husain asked Ms Truss this morning: “What are you going to do next time you need to have stern words with a country like Russia? – telling them to act within the rule of law and they hit back saying ‘well you’re not willing to honour your agreements’.”

Left astonished by the remarks by the well-established BBC presenter, the Foreign Secretary responded: “To be frank, I think that is an extraordinary comparison.”

She highlighted that the UK’s actions were being done in order to protect peace in Northern Ireland and to respect the Northern Ireland Agreement which many say is being undermined by the Protocol.

Ms Truss said: “We are acting as a United Kingdom Government to protect political stability, within our own country and we are able to do that within the law.

“Yesterday we published our legal position setting that out.

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“That is our priority and the Protocol starts itself by talking about the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

“It’s clear the east-west strand of that agreement is being undermined.

“That is why the responsibility of the United Kingdom is to deal with this issue, to take the steps necessary to move forward and not allow this situation to drift.

“Because the people of Northern Ireland deserve a government and we need to sort these issues out.

“I think that is an extraordinary comparison for you to make.”

Chilling images emerging from Ukraine in recent weeks have laid bare the horror of Moscow’s invasion.

Thousands of Ukrainians have died in the war and there have been accounts of Russian troops raping women and children, and torturing men for fun.

Evidence is already being collected for potential war crimes trials.

Last night Ms Truss said she was “very clear that we’re acting in line with the law” with the small changes being made to the Protocol and blamed the EU for the failure to reach a negotiated settlement.

She added: “We have sought a negotiated settlement for the last 18 months but as yet the EU have been unwilling to change the terms of the Protocol.”

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