UK to publish legislation to override parts of Northern Ireland Protocol today

UK to publish legislation to override parts of Northern Ireland Protocol today

THE BRITISH government will today publish details of proposed legislation to give ministers the power to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to publish the legislation this afternoon, with Truss already haven spoken to European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič this morning.

In a tweet, Šefčovič said the action "is damaging to mutual trust & a formula for uncertainty."

Truss also tweeted following the discussion, saying "our preference is a negotiated solution, but EU must be willing to change the Protocol itself."

Ms Truss has also spoken with Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, tweeted afterward:

"Spoke to Simon Coveney about the Bill we’re announcing today to protect peace and stability in Northern Ireland and uphold the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

"We remain open to negotiations with the EU, but we cannot wait to fix the issues facing the people of NI."

Coveney also tweeted following the talk, saying the UK government is "now proposing to set aside International law, reject a partnership approach, ignore majority in NI & deliberately ratchet up tension with an EU seeking."

"We remain open to dialogue to find agreement but this approach adds to instability & is no fix."


NI Secretary Brandon Lewis has said he is confident the changes would be lawful, and also said he expected the DUP to form an executive after publication.

But the EU, Irish Government, the non-unionist parties in Northern Ireland and elements of the British Conservative Party have said it is going to breach international law.

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Sammy Wilson said it was "impossible" to make a judgement call until the party had seen the final draft of the legislation.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said taking unilateral action would mark a "new low" in relations between the UK and Ireland.

The move is designed to persuade the DUP to agree to go back into the power-sharing administration at Stormont.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has said he will only agree to do so if the protocol dispute is resolved to his satisfaction.

The first reading of the bill is set to take place this afternoon, with the second stage coming as early as next week.

The new legislation is expected to aim to remove checks on goods arriving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, that are destined to remain there.

Under the plans, there would be a dual regulatory regime established, allowing businesses in Northern Ireland to chose between sticking to either EU or UK standards, as well as UK VAT and state aid rules applying in Northern Ireland.

It is also expected there would be a more limited rule for the European Court of Justice.