Johnson says plan to break Brexit treaty needed to counter EU’s ‘revolver’

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 15, 2020

"The EU still have not taken this revolver off the table", Johnson told parliament before the vote.

He says that threatens the integrity of the UK.

The bloc is demanding that he withdraw the offending parts of the new bill by the end of September or risk no trade deal at the end of the year to cover everything from food to vehicle parts.

Sajid Javid, Conservative MP and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister, in other words), had also come out against the bill, saying in a tweet that he could not see why it would be necessary to break worldwide law in the instance of the Internal Market Bill.

MPs are expected to approve the UK Internal Market Bill in principle later on Monday, although Labour has put forward an amendment that seeks to kill it.

During some five hours of debate ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the law's more controversial provisions - which, among other things, would empower ministers to override European Union regulations on trade and government aid - arguing the bill is needed to guarantee the UK's "economic and political integrity".

Johnson put forward the bill in Monday's debate with the claim that the EU was trying to force the United Kingdom to accept certain regulations and that the European bloc had threatened to use "an extreme interpretation" of the withdrawal agreement in order to do so.

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".

"We cannot have a situation where the very boundaries of our country could be dictated by a foreign power or worldwide organisation", he said.

"It will protect the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom and the peace in Northern Ireland, safeguarding trade and jobs across all four corners of the United Kingdom following the end of the transition period".

Johnson temporarily halted the deadlock by sealing a divorce deal with Brussels late a year ago, which he used to win a thumping 80-seat victory in a December general election.

The Northern Ireland Protocol, created to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland, was negotiated and agreed by Johnson last autumn.

"It is about two issues where they're going to override global law".

"Either he was not straight with the country in the first place or he did not understand it", said Miliband.

He added: "This is his deal". It's his mess. It's his failure. Conservative lawmaker Rehman Chishti, who was Johnson's special envoy for freedom of religion, quit his role over the issue while Johnson's former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who is influential with colleagues, was also critical.

The main battleground in the next four days of debate is likely to be an attempt by Bob Neill, a Conservative lawmaker, to amend the bill to give parliament, not ministers, the power to decide whether to overrule the Brexit treaty.

Even some Brexit-backing Tories are unhappy, with one, Charles Walker, saying: "I'm no fan of the European Union. but surely we have to exhaust all other options before we press the nuclear button".

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