Piers Morgan tells Truss to ‘get back to work’
Liz Truss has been told to lay down the law to both Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin and US President Joe Biden when she meets them this week – by issuing a simple, 12-word Brexit warning. Ben Habib, the former Brexit Party MEP, was speaking after one Irish media outlet claimed the two sides were poised to agree to continue negotiations aimed at resolving the deadlock over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland agreed by the UK and the EU has been criticised by pro-Unionists – including Mr Habib – who claim it has in fact result in a border down the Irish Sea, driving a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in the process.
Mr Habib told Express.co.uk: “The Queen’s death effectively suspended the advent of Ms Truss’s premiership. With Her Majesty’s funeral tomorrow, Ms Truss will be firmly back in the limelight.
“The Nation expects urgent action from her to fix the multitude of problems she has inherited.
Liz Truss, US President Joe Biden and Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Image: GETTY)
Liz Truss and Micheal Martin at a service of remembrance in Belfast last week (Image: GETTY)
“Alongside the cost-of-living crisis and the broken economy she must address the existential threat posed to our country by the Northern Ireland Protocol.”
Along with many other leaders, Mr Martin, who Ms Truss also met today, would be at the funeral, Mr Habib pointed out.
He said: “She should remind him, and Biden if he is in earshot, they are attending the funeral of the Queen of the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland and Great Britain.”
Mr Habib further suggested a 12-word sentence for the recently appointed Prime Minister, adding: “She should make it utterly clear – the country will stand firmly behind Northern Ireland and our Queen’s legacy.”
Joe Biden and wife Jill leave the White House to head for the UK for the Queen’s funeral (Image: GETTY)
The Protocol breached the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement because it removed Northern Ireland, without consent, from the United Kingdom, Mr Habib claimed.
He continued: “The Belfast Agreement was NOT intended to be a bridgehead for the destruction of the union of Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
“It was meant to be a lasting peace settlement confirming Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. Michael Martin needs to affirm he understands this. Unless and until he does so, there can be no negotiation with him.”
It was no accident that King Charles III, after his accession as monarch, had visited Northern Ireland immediately, Mr Habib argued.
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King Charles III visited Northern Ireland after the Queen’s death (Image: GETTY)
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is tomorrow (Image: GETTY)
He said: “His Crown is as much of that province as it is of Great Britain. He must feel the responsibility of passing it and the Kingdom on intact to his heir.
“This is his obligation. It is a shame the media used his visit to trumpet Sinn Fein; a party which has yet to condemn the IRA’s terrorism and still treats Westminster with contempt.”
Ms Truss will have the full backing of all British citizens if she acted “unilaterally” to “ditch” the Protocol, Mr Habib declared.
He said: “Her Protocol Bill is a step in the right direction but will not deliver for a long time, if ever.
Liz Truss profile (Image: Express)
“Last week, government lawyers in the High Court in Belfast intervened in a case to which they were not a party, to support the Protocol’s Irish Sea border.”
Mr Habib concluded: “It is difficult to reconcile such action with her promise to neuter the Protocol. Let’s hope those lawyers were acting under instructions from the previous administration and not Ms Truss.
“She should be under no misapprehension. The Nation will not forgive her if she allows the destruction of the United Kingdom.
Ben Habib is a former Brexit Party MEP (Image: PA)
“During the leadership contest Ms Truss trumpeted her own ability to deliver. Well, I say to her, no ifs, no buts, deliver Northern Ireland safely back to the United Kingdom.”
Irish broadcaster RTE claimed Ms Truss Minister Liz Truss has agreed with her Irish counterpart Micheal Martin that an opportunity remains for a negotiated outcome to issues around the Northern Ireland protocol, Irish broadcaster RTE reported.
An Irish government spokesperson declined to comment on what was discussed at the meeting between the two in London ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral.