Published: Wed, September 16, 2020

UK's Johnson faces rebellion over plan to break Brexit treaty

UK's Johnson faces rebellion over plan to break Brexit treaty

"I am regretfully unable to support the UK Internal Market Bill unamended".

"Breaking worldwide law is a step that should never be taken lightly", wrote Tory MP and former chancellor Sajid Javid in a statement, adding that he could not support "pre-emptively reneging" on the withdrawal agreement and that he would not be supporting the bill on its second reading on Tuesday.

He insisted the EU had made unfair demands to "exert leverage" in Brexit trade talks, including threats to block food exports, and said the Internal Markets bill would prevent European negotiators from taking an "extreme and unreasonable" stance on the withdrawal agreement.

Later in the parliamentary debate, Miliband said of the bill: "What the Prime Minister is coming to this House to tell us today is that his flagship achievement, the deal he told us was a triumph, the deal he said was "oven-ready", the deal on which he fought and won the general election is now contradictory and ambiguous".

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lashed out at the European Union yesterday as he won initial approval for a plan to breach the Brexit treaty, saying the move was needed because the bloc had refused to take a "revolver off the table" in trade talks.

Sir Roger acknowledged he was in a "tiny minority" among Tory MPs but predicted others could rebel when the Commons comes to consider amendments to the Bill next week. Others have quite clearly decided they want to hold their fire for Bob Neill's amendment.

A trade law that would allow the British government to bypass parts of its Brexit deal with the European Union has cleared its first hurdle in parliament, over opposition from critics who insist the bill violates worldwide law.

The bill is created to enable goods and services to flow freely across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when the United Kingdom leaves the EU's single market and customs union on 1 January.


But the legislation would see London unilaterally regulate United Kingdom trade and state aid within Northern Ireland - in violation of the Brexit treaty, that demands Brussels have a say.

He said it could mean levies of 61% on Welsh lamb, 90% on Scottish beef and 100% on Devonshire clotted cream, and would "carve tariff borders across our own country".

"No British prime minister, no government, no parliament could ever accept such an imposition".

But opposition Labour spokesman Ed Miliband ridiculed this suggestion, saying: "Either he wasn't straight with the country about the deal in the first place or he didn't understand it".

"Because a competent government would never have entered into a binding agreement with provisions it could not live with".

Cox, previously a strong supporter of Johnson on Brexit, said he wouldn't support the proposal when the House of Commons takes its first vote on the contentious legislation later Monday.

A number of Conservative former ministers made clear that they would not support any measure which breached worldwide law, including Andrew Mitchell, Sir Oliver Heald and another former attorney general Jeremy Wright.

Johnson says the UK Internal Market Bill will ensure "unfettered access" for trade after that within the UK's four nations - Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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