The European Union could take legal action against the UK as soon as Wednesday in response to moves to re-write parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, according to RTE News reports.
A Bill to unilaterally amend the agreement will be introduced in Parliament amid controversy over whether the legislation will break international law.
Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has insisted the new Bill is “lawful” and “correct” but Labour has accused the Government of “law-breaking”.
There is also likely to be some opposition from within Tory ranks, with a number of MPs believed to be unhappy with the legislation.
The Financial Times reported that an internal note had been circulating among those against the Bill, which said: “Breaking international law to rip up the Prime Minister’s own treaty is damaging to everything the UK and Conservatives stand for.”
It is also expected to prompt a fierce response from the EU, which could initiate legal action as early as Wednesday.
RTE News reporter Tony Connelly said that a statement is expected to say that the EU will not renegotiate the Protocol, and will imply that the EU could take retaliatory trade measures against the UK.
The bloc will “consider” issuing “new” infringement proceedings, as well as unfreezing existing legal action this week.
Sources say the EU will adopt a carrot and stick approach, with the unfreezing of legal action being accompanied by the publication of a “model for the flexible implementation of the protocol based on durable solutions.”
Related: Elevenses: Fag Packet Politics