Northern Ireland Protocol waiver legislation to be introduced later as movement claims to breach international law | Politics News



A bill to amend the Northern Ireland Protocol will be introduced in Parliament today, despite claims that the move breaches international law.

The bill will allow ministers to override parts of the protocol, which was agreed by the UK and the European Union to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit.

Northern Ireland remains subject to certain EU rules and checks are carried out on goods coming from Great Britain, creating a border in the Irish Sea.

Radical Brexiteers said it undermines Northern Ireland’s place in the UK and Democratic Unionists have refused to enter power-sharing until the issue is resolved.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss last month presented the plan for legislation to override parts of the protocol, citing the need to respond to the “very grave and serious situation”.

She said the bill would preserve what worked, while fixing what didn’t – movement of goods, regulation of goods, VAT, subsidy control and governance.

This could allow ministers to remove customs procedures for goods moving through the UK and allow the frictionless movement of agri-food products remaining in the UK.

It could also see businesses in Northern Ireland given the option to choose whether to follow UK or EU regulations, depending on who they are trading with.

But Britain has been warned that unilateral withdrawal from the protocol could jeopardize the wider Brexit deal, sparking a trade war with Europe, while breaching international law.

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Brandon Lewis: We want to fix protocol issues

“Legal” and “correct”

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has insisted the new bill is ‘legal’ and ‘correct’, but there will likely be some opposition within Tory ranks.

According to the Financial Times, a memo was passed among those opposing the bill, saying: ‘Breaking international law to tear up the Prime Minister’s own treaty is damaging to everything the UK and the Tories stand for. “.

Read more:
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol and why is it important?
Rob Powell: It will spark outrage – but fighting for Brexit moves a beleaguered PM to safer territory

Mr Lewis told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “What we are going to do is legal and correct.

“We’ll lay out our legal position on this. People will see that what we’re proposing solves the key issues in the protocol that aren’t working.”

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Mary Lou McDonald Says Protocol Change ‘Breaches International Law’

But Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: ‘This Government seems to be developing a record of breaking the law and it is not one that Labor can sustain.

Downing Street said it would only share a “summary” of the legal advice it received with the public.


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