Northern Ireland Protocol Bill to get second reading in Commons on Monday

Unionists have protested against the protocol, leading to the DUP to collapse power sharing.

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill will move to the next stage in the House of Commons next week, it has been confirmed.

During business questions in parliament this morning, the Leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer MP told MPs that the government's legislation to deal with the protocol will have its second reading at Westminster on Monday (26 June).

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has insisted that his party needs to see the protocol legislation move through the House of Commons before his party returns to Stormont.

It has also been confirmed that the government's legislation on dealing with Northern Ireland's past will also move to its next stage next week.

The Northern Ireland Troubles Legacy and Reconciliation Bill will be considered in committee on Wednesday 29 June.

All of Northern Ireland's political parties have objected to the government's legacy legislation arguing that it offers an effective amnesty to army veterans and paramilitaries.

The Labour party is to table an amendment to prevent what the party describes as an "amnesty for rapists" from being implemented.

The controversial Bill would offer immunity from prosecution for Troubles-era offences for anyone who co-operates with a new "information-recovery" body.

Labour claim that the current wording of the Bill "does not prevent anyone who has committed or covered up acts of sexual violence as part of the conflict from seeking immunity."

The party say that any immunity schemes usually have a list of offences excluded from the offer, including rape and torture.

Commons Leader Mark Spencer announced in the Commons on Thursday that the controversial legislation on the protocol has been scheduled to receive its second reading on 27 June.

This will see the House of Commons debate the main principles of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and decide whether it can proceed for further consideration.

The UK Government has argued the measures to remove checks on goods and animal and plant products travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are necessary to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement and peace and stability.

The imposition of checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in order to keep an open border with Ireland has angered unionists.

But capitals across the EU bloc reacted with outrage to the plans to override parts of the protocol, which governs trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The DUP has long opposed the protocol and is refusing to enter the power sharing institutions at Stormont until issues with the post-Brexit settlement for the region are addressed.

Next week's business in the Commons will also include Labour-led Opposition Day Debates on June 28 and the first day of the committee stage of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill on June 29.

The second day to consider the remaining stages of this Bill are expected on July 4, according to Mr Spencer.

Backbench business debates on Iran's nuclear programme and 50 years of Pride in the UK will take place on 30 June.

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