Blog: OPINION: Liz Truss’ Brexit U-turn is bad news for NI – Open Democracy

Liz Truss has embraced Brexit absolutism with the zeal of the convert. Having voted Remain in 2016, the favourite in the race for Conservative leader is now pledging to scrap all remaining EU laws by the end of next year if she becomes prime minister.

Truss’s convenient conversion to the Eurosceptic cause has played well with right-wing Tories. The secretive Tory backbench European Research Group (ERG) is firmly behind ‘Liz for leader’.

But Truss’s newfound enthusiasm for Brexit spells bad news – particularly for those of us in Northern Ireland.

Truss had previously shown little interest in Northern Irish affairs: the former foreign secretary allegedly dismissed the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Irish businesses as merely affecting “a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks”.

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Now she is presenting Northern Ireland as evidence of her suitability for the role of prime minister. Her leadership pitch has gone big on ‘delivery’, repeatedly using the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill – which she designed – to exemplify her ability to ‘get things done’.

But the bill, which has now cleared the House of Commons, is evidence of something very different. The Protocol Bill – which many experts believe is in breach of international law – rips up the UK government’s own Brexit deal. Far from resolving the challenges in Northern Ireland, it creates further instability and risks a trade war with the EU.

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