BORIS Johnson today told the EU he was “sticking up” for peace in a final warning before blowing up the Brexit deal.
Fresh from banging heads together in Northern Ireland, the PM told stubborn Brussels bosses that red tape is inflaming the cost of living.
Liz Truss will tomorrow signal the UK’s intent to rip up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in a dramatic escalation of tensions.
Grilled today if this was wise given it would trigger a trade war with the EU, the PM said he had no choice but to defend peacekeeping.
He said: “What we’re doing is sticking up for the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and what we’re doing is trying to protect and preserve the government of Northern Ireland.
“There’s a cost of living issue, but that’s certainly not being helped by extra barriers to trade, extra burdens on business that have been caused by the Protocol.”
Read More on HOAR
Mr Johnson, who faced booing protesters on arrival, said all five party leaders he met on his whirlwind dash to Northern Ireland agreed the arrangement needed fixing.
And he urged all the parties – including the DUP – to get round the negotiating table and break the stalemate paralysing Stormont.
The PM said: “I think everybody should be rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck into the government of Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland’s Assembly is currently frozen as the DUP refuses to nominate a Speaker over their Protocol qualms.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson demanded Mr Johnson do his “duty” and tear up the Protocol, adding he needed to see “decisive action” before he could be talked back from the ledge.
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald accused Mr Johnson of “placating the DUP” by vowing to amend the arrangement.
She said: “People are facing incredible difficulties in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, and it’s simply not acceptable.
“It’s not good enough for anybody, the DUP or the British Government, to hold society here to ransom.”