UK government pushes on with contentious N. Ireland bill

STORY: The proposed Northern Ireland protocol bill would unilaterally overturn parts of a Brexit divorce deal agreed in 2020 if it becomes law. The European Union has launched legal proceedings against Britain over it.

Opening the first debate on the bill on Monday, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said it was a legal last resort necessitated by the failure of 18-month long negotiations with the EU.

Tensions have simmered for months after Britain accused the EU of a heavy-handed approach to the movement of goods between Britain and Northern Ireland - checks needed to keep an open border with EU member Ireland.

Truss said the bill was necessary to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing administration, established under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement, which has not been functioning due to disagreements over the Northern Irish protocol.