The government plans to publish a law repealing the Northern Ireland Protocol, but Sky News understands that the cabinet has not yet agreed on a wording.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) demand the elimination of the trade border in the Irish Sea established by the treaty before resuming power sharing in Stormont.

Sources close to the discussion argue that ministers are concerned that the bill could become ineffective if the government is found to be in violation of international law.

Explanatory note:
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol and why does it matter?

Given the apparent potential for resistance in parliament, they may be forced to include remedies, which means that any action must comply with the Exit Agreement.

Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union has raised the prospect of a tough border between Northern Ireland (UK) and the Republic of Ireland (EU).

To avoid this, the British government agreed to a trading border in the Irish Sea – between Northern Ireland and the UK – but the Allies felt betrayed.

Under pressure from the DUP, the UK government has repeatedly accused the EU of lacking flexibility in carrying out customs and regulatory checks.

Sky News understands the legislation being drafted by the Secretary of State Liz Trass effectively remove the maritime border to restore electricity sharing.

There are six key elements:

  • A green stripe for trusted traders transporting goods to Northern Ireland and a red stripe for products destined for the Republic of Ireland
  • Increased fines for violations and smuggling
  • Measures that allow firms to produce goods to UK standards in Northern Ireland
  • Transfer of control from the European Court of Justice (EU) to the UK courts
  • Granting Northern Ireland the same VAT reduction as the rest of the UK
  • A clear promise that the UK will never introduce border infrastructure between Northern Ireland and the Republic

The Prime Minister is fighting with the EU and some of his deputies

Rob Powell

Political correspondent


Presenting legislation that seems to violate international law, Boris Johnson begins to fight not only with the EU but also with some of his deputies and members of the House of Lords.

The chairman of the Conservative Electoral Committee of Northern Ireland, Simon Hoare, said today that the move would be “an indelible stain on our country’s reputation” and urged colleagues to ask themselves: “What would we say if the Labor government did that?”

Tory senior MP Sir Roger Gale has also sarcastically stated that Boris Johnson signed the Brexit deal in 2019 and campaigned in the general election.

“It simply came to our notice then. Boris Johnson is responsible for this … our word is our connection, and if we say we will do something, we should, ”the Kent MP said.

Former Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell, who has been involved in previous Brexit struggles, said he was mostly “tired” of the developments, but added that “it could cause a shootout in which no one wins”.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May is also known to be against the plan, noting on Tuesday that her Brexit agreement would avoid the border with the Irish Sea.

“The government needs to address not only some urgent issues, but also a broader understanding of what the move will say about the United Kingdom and its willingness to comply with the signed treaties,” Mrs May said in a speech to the House of Representatives.

The broader inconsistency identified by some MPs is the image of Britain signing defense treaties and presenting itself as a credible entity against Russian aggression on the world stage, as well as abandoning trade agreements and threatening to violate international law in other areas.

All that has been said, armed with a chunky majority, Boris Johnson is likely to succeed when and when the legislation enters the House of Commons.

However, he will face tougher resistance in the lords, where conservatives on the red benches predominate.

The transfer of control from the UK Court to the UK courts is just one example of when government can be considered a violation of international law.

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The debate over the need for protection to ensure passage through parliament has called into question the legal advice given by the Attorney General last week.

Suela Breverman, the government’s chief legal counsel, approved the repeal of much of the protocol under emergency law, describing the action as “painfully necessary”.

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The “last thing” the EU wants is tensions in the UK

Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Cowen has said there is a ‘landing area’ for an agreement where the UK and the EU will work together and he condemned the “swing of the sword” in Britain.

He told Sky News Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Ireland is also disappointed.

“We are now dealing with the consequences of the British people’s decision for our own country, which has cost us hundreds of millions of euros, risking the peace process and its institutions on the island of Ireland.

“So where we focus on frustration, we need to think outside of Westminster.”

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