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Northern Ireland Protocol legislation could be brought forward in coming days with Boris Johnson facing leadership pressure

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Boris Johnson poses for a photograph with military personnel outside 10 Downing Street. Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA

Boris Johnson poses for a photograph with military personnel outside 10 Downing Street. Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA

PA

Boris Johnson poses for a photograph with military personnel outside 10 Downing Street. Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA

Legislation overriding parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol could emerge in Westminster as soon as this week, as Boris Johnson fights for his political survival.

According to reports on Sunday, the Prime Minister will bring forward legislation to discard large portions of the protocol – potentially risking a trade war with the European Union.

Last month Foreign Secretary Liz Truss set out details of the expected legislation, which would propose separate “green” and “red” lanes for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with those destined to stay within the UK freed from EU-level checks.

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, who has been involved in negotiations with Ms Truss about the post-Brexit issue, criticised her plan and warned that Brussels could retaliate.

Should the UK proceed with the Bill, the EU will respond with “all measures at its disposal”, he said.

At the time Ms Truss confirmed it was the Government’s intention to introduce this within weeks, but with anger among Tories at Mr Johnson over ‘Partygate’, such a law could be brought forward in the coming days in a bid to rally support among Brexiteer MPs

There is speculation Mr Johnson could face a crunch vote on his premiership as soon as this Wednesday, amid reports the threshold for a no-confidence vote might have already been reached among his party colleagues.

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Meanwhile, new polling suggests the Conservatives risk losing a key electoral test later this month by a significant margin.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he does not believe Boris Johnson will face a confidence vote this week, but were there to be one the Prime Minister would win.

Mr Shapps also dismissed the mixed reception received by Mr Johnson as he attended a service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, where boos could be heard from the crowd.

"I'm absolutely certain, with some of these huge decisions, sorting out Brexit, getting through coronavirus, seeing the largest growing economy last year, these are decisions and actions which will in the end matter to people,” said Mr Shapps.

Asked if Mr Johnson would win a vote of confidence, the Transport Secretary responded: "Yes, he will."


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