The UK Government is threatening to introduce legislation that would unilaterally overrule parts of the controversial Northern Ireland protocol.

The protocol requires checks on goods of animal and plant origin that are entering Northern Ireland from Britain because, under the protocol, Northern Ireland remains part of the EU single market.

So far, the protocol has only been partially applied as a number of extensions have been agreed between the EU and UK on delaying inspections.

The protocol was agreed in advance of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and EU at Christmas 2020 which avoids tariffs on agri-food exports from Ireland to Britain and allows cross-border trade to continue uninterrupted.

There are fears if the UK abandons the protocol the TCA will be at risk, with the corresponding threat of tariffs on Irish exports.