Boris Johnson bid to tear up Northern Ireland deal endangers peace, US congressmen warn

Government’s legal justification for unilateral challenge to protocol branded ‘hopeless’

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EU's Maros Sefcovic says renegotiating Northern Ireland Protocol bill is ‘unrealistic’

Boris Johnson’s plans to tear up post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland have come under fierce attack from Washington, with senior congressmen on both sides of the US political divide warning the “irresponsible” move is a threat to peace in the province.

EU commissioners are expected later this week to initiate new legal action against the UK, after Monday’s publication of a bill which would unilaterally rewrite the Northern Ireland protocol agreed by Mr Johnson with Brussels in 2019.

A former head of the government’s legal service said that ministers’ attempt to justify the move was “hopeless”, while another legal expert said the UK would face an “uphill struggle” to persuade any court that it did not amount to a breach of international law.

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