On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement. [45] The new law would give ministers the power to determine which state aid should be notified to the EU and to define which products at risk of being transferred from Northern Ireland to Ireland (the withdrawal agreement stipulates that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, all products are considered vulnerable). [47] The government defended this approach and stated that the legislation was in accordance with protocol and that it had only “clarified” the volumity in the protocol. [48] Ursula von der Leyen warned Johnson not to violate international law and said that the implementation of the withdrawal agreement by Britain was a “precondition for any future partnership”. [49] On 8 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, told the British Parliament that the government`s internal market bill would “violate international law”.” [50] The British government is becoming increasingly provocative. This weekend, the chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, said he was not afraid to escape trade negotiations with the European Union – and that was just the beginning. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set a deadline of mid-October for an agreement between Britain and the Bloc. If there were none, he said, the UK would be preparing for a future without a deal. The growing audacity on behalf of British officials comes ahead of the planned publication of an internal market law that would undermine the fundamental principles of the recent withdrawal pact. The behaviour could be interpreted as bluffing if it were not the Northern Ireland Protocol and the fact that Britain might no longer be able to comply with certain aspects of the withdrawal agreement. “It makes no sense to negotiate a future deal (with) a British prime minister who throws out the window of the agreement he himself signed,” said Manfred Weber of the centre-right European People`s Party. Johnson said he would not use the option he has in the withdrawal agreement to extend that transition period.

The Prime Minister said the 11-month time available without a new extension was “ample” time to reach a comprehensive agreement. The move comes as Britain and the European Union resume talks on a trade deal, with Johnson saying on Sunday that if no deal is reached by October 15, both sides should “accept that and continue.” He called on the government to withdraw the law “by the end of the month,” adding that the withdrawal agreement contained “a number of mechanisms and remedies to remedy violations of the legal obligations contained in the text – which the European Union will not hesitate to use.” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who played a key role in negotiations on the withdrawal agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol, said on Twitter that the reported step was “a very ill-advised path.” The copy of the signed agreement was sent in a diplomatic bag for the Prime Minister`s signature in Downing Street.