Law over-riding the Northern Ireland Protocol 'will not be part of Queen's Speech' next week

Fri 6 May 2022
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

UK legislation relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol will not be in the next Queen’s Speech – although a bill could be introduced at a later stage.

It has previously been suggested that the government was set to bring in a Northern Ireland bill that would allow it to suspend parts of the protocol.

However the BBC reports that the Queen’s Speech, on 10 May, will include language about upholding the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement – the 1998 peace deal which helped bring an end to the Troubles.

Resume talks

Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis said this week that the UK would look to resume negotiations with the EU, reports Irish News.

“Our focus is on resolving the issues with the protocol, ideally we want to do that by agreement with the European Union,” he told ITV’s Robert Peston.

Prime minister Boris Johnson and other ministers have vowed to unilaterally scrap the protocol, a move which the European Commission says would be a breach of international law and put into jeopardy the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement, reports Euractiv.

Election purdah

Talks aimed at improving the functioning of the protocol have made little progress and have been on hold pending Northern Ireland Assembly elections this week.

RTE’s Tony Connelly tweeted that the EU believes that while threatening the legislation, the UK may refrain from acting on the threat.

Appeal for unity

The EU will appeal for unity in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “reinforce its view that the UK must uphold its international treaty obligations at a time when Vladimir Putin is attempting to harshly undermine the rules-based international order” he added.

Member states are said to be happy for Maros Sefcovic to resume protocol negotiations. They have been informed that the European Commission will “use the remedies at its disposal in order to uphold the full implementation of the Protocol.”

Counting of votes is currently underway with polls suggesting that Sinn Fein, which supports a united Ireland, will emerge as the largest party when the results are declared on Sunday.