UK government’s draft law to be published on Monday

UK government’s draft law to be published on Monday

After a row between the government and Eurosceptics over whether it is tough enough, a controversial legislation to override the Northern Ireland protocol will be published on Monday.

The draft bill, which critics say may be illegal under international law, has been the subject of fierce lobbying by arch Eurosceptics who want the protocol dropped completely.

Boris Johnson and other senior ministers have been put under pressure by the European Research Group ERG MPs and the Democratic Unionist party DUP to put forward legislation that intends to take primacy over protocol and remove the role of the European court of justice.

The foreign secretary and prime minister, Liz Truss, met Bill Cash, an MP from the ERG earlier this week to discuss the legislation.

The laws have been redrafted over the last week but cabinet ministers have pushed back against giving the ERG too big a say in the outcome.

The EU has hardened against the UK's actions in recent weeks, with the Irish taoiseach warning that ditching the protocol would be a historic low point in relations, citing the Ukraine war as a reason why international law must be respected.

In an address to the European Parliament this week, Miche l Martin said that a breach of the protocol would make the world less safe and that Johnson must not treat the peace on the island of Ireland.

Conor Burns, a minister for Northern Ireland and ally of Johnson, said the UK government was recalibrating, not tearing up the protocol.

The legislation is also opposed by a chunk of Johnson's own MPs on the One Nation wing of the Conservative Party, with former Treasury minister Jesse Norman warning on Monday it was possibly illegal.

The difficulty that Johnson may have in getting legislation through parliament, and in particular the House of Lords, where the Conservatives don't have a majority, highlights the discontent on both sides.