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Germany Hits Back At Liz Truss Over Changes To Hated Brexit Deal ‘Tougher Position’

Germany Hits Back At Liz Truss Over Changes To Hated Brexit Deal ‘Tougher Position’

Germany’s ambassador to the EU, Michel Clause, has said that EU countries will not change the mandate of chief negotiator Maroš Šefčovič to allow him to renegotiate the NI Protocol. The move likely means that the Government will need to go-ahead with their plan to unilaterally make changes to the deal, potentially facing the ire of Europe.

He noted that all options were on the table if the Government went ahead with its plans and said that the EU capitals were unified in the belief that the Protocol could not be renegotiated.

While speaking at a conference on post-Brexit relations between the EU and the UK, he claimed that Olaf Scholz’s Government would take a tougher stance on the Protocol than former Chancellor Angela Merkle’s had.

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He also hinted that UK access to the EU’s Horizon programme, a multi-billion Euro science funding programme, would likely be contingent on the NI Protocol.

He told London-based WELT correspondent Stefanie Bolzen: “It is part of the Brexit deal that the UK would participate in Horizon and there’s a strong wish also from our side that that happens.

“But we also have to see that the political atmosphere needs to be right.”

He added: “The Chancellor Angela Merkel has been less explicit on this. When the Northern Ireland Bill was tabled, you had quite [strong] reactions from Chancellor Olaf Scholz and also from Foreign Minister Minister Annalena Baerbock…much more clear than what you would have had as a reaction a year ago.”

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He claimed that the Northern Ireland Protocol was at the heart of the Brexit deal and the EU would keep all options open if the UK unilaterally changed the Protocol.

The NI Protocol has been a sticking point for Brexit negotiations as it is used to control goods coming into the UK without…

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