British Members of the House of Commons on Monday supported a bill that partially disregards last year’s agreement with the European Union (EU) “Brexi“the terms of the agreement, despite the EU’s objections and concern in the country about such a violation of international law.
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In the initial vote on the UK Internal Market Act, MEPs backed it by 340 votes to 263, with a detailed examination of the text over four days this week and next.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson previously called the bill a “safety net” against the EU’s threat to impose customs tariffs on intra-British trade and even suspend food imports into Northern Ireland from the British Isles.
EU leaders have rejected this argument and warned Johnson that he himself had to honor the commitments he made in last year’s Brexit deal. The EU has called on Britain to remove those parts of the bill that do not comply with the Brexit agreement by the end of September.
Johnson wants Britain’s Internal Market Bill to ignore the Brexit clause, which would give Northern Ireland a different post-Brexit customs regime than the rest of Britain. However, this part of the Brexit request is considered essential to avoid the re-establishment of a strict border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, which is an EU Member State.
The bill has also sparked debate in London. Several members of parliament representing the Prime Minister’s Conservative Party have expressed concern about violations of international law. Former Finance Minister Sajid Javid and former Attorney General Jeffrey Cox are among those MPs who have previously said they will not support the bill in its current form.
All the still living British ex-prime ministers – John Major, David Cameron a Teresa Maya from the Conservative Party, and Tony Blair a Gordon Brown from the Labor Party – have warned of a risk to Britain’s reputation in the world.
Although Britain left the EU on 31 January, there is a transition period until the end of the year, during which, among other things, a new reciprocal trade agreement must be agreed.
If no agreement is reached, trade relations between the two parties will henceforth be governed by the rules of the International Trade Organization (WTO).