Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has said he believes there is widespread political support for British government plans to override the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Lewis was speaking ahead of the second reading of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in the House of Commons tomorrow.

The proposed legislation has prompted the European Union to take legal action.

In an interview with the BBC this morning, Mr Lewis said he expected MPs from across the political divide to support the Bill.

"....it's legislation that will resolve the very issues that have been detrimentally affecting people in Northern Ireland and indeed people in businesses across Great Britain who can't supply Northern Ireland at the moment, and having that detrimental impact on the institutions of Stormont itself, and I think for that reason we will see a good majority for this legislation when it goes through tomorrow," he added.

Asked what timeframe could be expected for the restoration of a working government in Northern Ireland, Mr Lewis said: "I can't speak for the DUP and Jeffrey Donaldson...that's very much a matter for them, but I am very clear, I would like to have seen Stormont back up and running already."


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On the subject of cutting the salaries of MLAs if Stormont is not restored in the near future, Mr Lewis said:

"I have absolutely heard what people have been saying about MLA pay, I do think we need to deal with it, we can't wait that long. I do require legislation to deal with that, but yes, if Stormont is not back up and running soon, I think that is something we need to deal with and I will be looking to bring legislation in order to deal with MLA pay, absolutely."

"I am not going to put an arbitrary deadline on it but I don't think we can wait very long, I think people want to see Stormont up and running. Again this is taxpayers' money and if MLAs aren't sitting then we need to make decisions I think fairly soon."