Blog: Liz Truss set for crunch Brexit showdown with Ursula von der Leyen in New York next week – Express

Prime Minister Liz Truss is expected to meet with European Commission President as soon as next week to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol. The two leaders are set to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Ms Truss is expected to fly to the US on Tuesday morning after the Queen’s funeral 24 hours before.

The Prime Minister, who has been in the job for just 10 days, has made fixing frictions caused by the international agreement one of the priorities of her administration. 

She has vowed to carry on with passing legislation in Parliament that she first introduced as Foreign Secretary to override aspects of the Protocol if the EU does not agree to renegotiate the deal.

“What we cannot allow is for this situation to drift,” she told MPs last week.

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Ms Truss added that her “preference is for a negotiated solution” with the EU.

Unionists argue that customs requirements imposed as part of the Protocol are undermining Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.

It means goods crossing from the mainland to the province must undergo bureaucratic checks.

Ministers in Westminster have warned the deal is putting the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement at risk with no devolved government currently in operation due to the row.

The Democratic Unionist Party has refused to enter a power-sharing agreement with Sinn Fein until the problems caused by the Protocol are resolved.

The meeting comes after the EU appeared it was ready to compromise on the Protocol earlier this week.

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EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic has suggested the number of checks taking place on goods crossing from the mainland to Northern Ireland could be reduced to just a few lorries a day.

He said under his proposals the trade border that has effectively been imposed down the Irish Sea would be “invisible”.

“If the data are downloaded into the system, when the goods are put on the ferry from Britain… I believe that we can remotely process them while sailing to Northern Ireland,” Mr Sefcovic told the Financial Times.

“It could be resolved very, very quickly if we get the input from our UK counterparts.”

Ms Truss is also expected to hold meetings in the coming days with Irish Taoiseach Michel Martin and US President Joe Biden.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed today that the Prime Minister will host Mr Biden and Mr Martin separately at No10 on Sunday ahead of the Queen’s funeral.

There will be no pictures or readouts of the event because of mourning.

In total, more than 100 heads of government or state are expected to be in London on Monday for the funeral at Westminster Abbey.

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