Liz Truss has been savaged on Twitter after calling Ireland’s prime minister to “tea sock”.
The foreign secretary delivered the bizarre pronunciation of “Taoiseach” as the government unveiled its plans to unilaterally over-ride the Northern Ireland protocol.
Irish premier Michael Martin said: “It represents a new low point because the natural expectation of democratic countries like ourselves, the UK and all across Europe is that we honour international agreements that we enter into.”
Recording a clip for broadcast media, Truss stumbled after appearing to realise her blunder.
She said: “I would strongly encourage the Irish tea sock ... to discuss this with the EU.”
Unsurprisingly, her verbal slip quickly became a social media sensation, with Twitter users merciless in their condemnation.
Truss’s gaffe came as the EU threatened to take legal action against the UK if it presses ahead with its plans to rip up the Brexit deal Boris Johnson signed barely two years ago.
European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said: “Renegotiation of the protocol is unrealistic. No workable alternative solution has been found to this delicate, long-negotiated balance.
“Any renegotiations would simply bring further legal uncertainty for the people and businesses in Northern Ireland. For these reasons the European Union will not renegotiate the protocol.”