The British government wants to unilaterally change the Brexit regulation for Northern Ireland agreed with Brussels. A bill presented on Monday is necessary to ensure stability and peace in the former troubled province, said Foreign Minister Liz Truss in the House of Commons in London.

She added: “We are still open to talks with the EU.” However, there can only be progress if Brussels accepts changes to the agreement known as the Northern Ireland Protocol. So far that has not been the case.

London is now threatening to stop the goods controls agreed in the protocol to protect the EU internal market and to replace them with a voluntary regulation. In addition, the role of the European Court of Justice is to be drastically restricted. London also wants to give itself a free hand when it comes to VAT regulations. According to a large number of experts, this would be a clear breach of international law. However, the government in London denies this.

Sharp criticism came from the EU in advance. Going it alone damages mutual trust and creates uncertainty, said EU Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic in the morning. The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, David McAllister, also described unilateral measures in the dpa discussion as “unacceptable”.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is part of the 2019 Brexit deal. It stipulates that the province, which is part of the United Kingdom, will continue to follow the rules of the EU internal market and the European Customs Union.