The UK wants to change the agreement it negotiated for Northern Ireland because it says it is not working – and wants to remove the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the agreement.
But the European Union says the basic agreement cannot be renegotiated.
Northern Ireland is facing a shortage of goods, and with threats against staff at ports, community tensions over the deal have increased.
In a speech in Lisbon on Tuesday, Bridget’s minister, Lord Frost, who negotiated the agreement, reiterated his demands for a change, which Brussels has so far rejected.
He will claim: “Without new arrangements in this area, the protocol will never get the help it needs to survive.”
This week, the EU’s Brexit leader, Maros Saefkovic, promised to respond to the UK – but said removing the ECJ’s role would cut Northern Ireland off the single market.
Lord Frost is expected to tell his audience in Lisbon that relations with the European Union are “tense”.
He will say that no one should doubt the seriousness of the situation. “That is why we are working to reflect the concerns of everyone in Northern Ireland, from all sides of the political arena, to ensure that the peace process is not weakened.
“The European Union now needs to show determination and readiness to address the fundamental issues at the head of the protocol.”
Lord Frost added: “By keeping the protocol on a sustainable basis, we have had the opportunity to go through the difficulties of the past year.
He will propose a new legal text to the European Commission as a basis for a new protocol aimed at supporting the Good Friday Agreement.
And he will say that the European Commission is “in a hurry to reject governance as a side issue”, claiming that “the role of the ECJ in Northern Ireland and consequently in the UK Government Protocol Failed to implement highly sensitive arrangements. “A reasonable approach has created a deep imbalance in the way the protocol is run.
The United Kingdom has threatened to suspend the agreement if the demands of Article 16 of the Protocol are not met.