LIZ Truss will today announce her plan to blow up parts of the Brexit deal if stubborn EU bosses refuse to budge over Northern Ireland.
The Foreign Secretary will give Brussels an ultimatum to compromise on reducing red tape – before Britain tears it up single-handedly.
In a statement to Parliament at around lunchtime Ms Truss will up the stakes in a bid to break the deadlock paralysing Northern Ireland.
She will reveal her intention to introduce legislation allowing Britain to unilaterally ditch Brexit checks that are infuriating local firms.
It is a high-stakes gambit that could implode into a full-blown trade war with the EU – which could lead to higher prices in Britain.
Boris Johnson yesterday repeated his wish to find a compromise with Brussels to reduce checks, but said the UK would act alone if pushed.
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He said: “We would love this to be done in a consensual way with our friends and partners, ironing out the problems, stopping some of these barriers east-west.
“But to get that done, to have the insurance we need, we need to proceed with a legislative solution at the same time.”
Fresh from banging heads together in Northern Ireland, the PM also told Brussels chiefs that red tape is inflaming the cost of living.
Grilled yesterday 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.”
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.
Northern Ireland’s Assembly is currently frozen as the DUP refuses to nominate a Speaker over their Protocol qualms.
The PM said: “I think everybody should be rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck into the government of Northern Ireland.”
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.
But 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.”