British Foreign Secretary Lis Truss said on Saturday that Britain was ready to take unilateral action to suspend tariffs on goods going to Northern Ireland.
Truss is set to hold talks with EU Vice President Maros Shefkovic this week to resolve differences over post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland, part of the UK that shares land borders with Ireland.
In order to avoid politically contentious border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Britain and the EU agreed to keep Northern Ireland in practice at the EU Customs Union, with inspections of cargo carried between the mainland of Britain and Northern Ireland.
“I want a negotiated settlement, but I’m willing to do so if I have to use legal clauses, including Section 16,” Truss told the Telegraph.
“A deal has to be made,” he added. “The people of Northern Ireland will not benefit from the same tax and expenditure decisions as in the rest of the UK or I will not sign anything that would involve moving goods into our country,” he added.
Section 16 demands that both the UK and the EU unilaterally suspend the implementation of certain sections of the Code governing trade with Northern Ireland if there are significant practical issues or trade diversions.
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