Johnson survives Tory rebellion as bill breaking Brexit deal advances

15 Septembre, 2020, 23:57 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

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.

"Let's just get this straight for a minute, because I think it is important to take a step back, what the Prime Minister is coming to the House to tell us today is that his flagship achievement, the deal he told us was a triumph, the deal he said, as I said, was "oven-ready", the deal which he fought and won the general election is now contradictory and ambiguous", he said, standing in front of Johnson.

The legislation also sparked angry debate in London, reminiscent of the years of bitter political battles that followed the 2016 shock referendum vote to leave the EU.

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 global law in the instance of the Internal Market Bill.

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.

James O'Brien was "confounded" by the vote in favour of the internal markets bill on Monday night - which allows the United Kingdom to break the withdrawal agreement. All of Britain's living former prime ministers have expressed concern about his plan as have many senior figures in his Conservative Party.

"I simply can not approve or endorse a situation in which we go back on our word, given solemnly", Cox said Monday on Times Radio.

"I understand how some people will feel unease over the use of these powers".

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However, although the Johnson government wants to fast-track the law so that it can be on the statute in the event that an EU-UK trade pact is not finalised before the end of 2020, it is likely to face difficulties in the House of Lords, where Conservative lawmakers are in a minority. That was agreed through the Northern Ireland protocol that could have resulted in an effective border down the Irish Sea if a trade deal was not reached.

The UK left the European Union in January but remains bound by the rules of the 27-member bloc until a transition period ends on December 31.

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 January 1 at the end of the current transition period.

He added: "This is his deal".

The EU has ramped up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, which would be chaotic for business, markets and almost one trillion USA dollars in annual trade. This is his deal, it's his mess, it's his failure.

One of Johnson's special envoys, MP Rehman Chishti, earlier quit over the bill - and more trouble could be ahead.

Although MPs on Monday defeated a Labour attempt to try to kill the bill, amendments have already been proposed for debate during four days of detailed scrutiny starting Tuesday. I'll very happily give way to him.

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