Our website use cookies to improve and personalize your experience and to display advertisements(if any). Our website may also include cookies from third parties like Google Adsense, Google Analytics, Youtube. By using the website, you consent to the use of cookies. We have updated our Privacy Policy. Please click on the button to check our Privacy Policy.

UK government agrees to give parliament vote on any breach of Brexit divorce deal

Reading Time: 2 minutes

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday evening agreed a compromise with rebels in his party, giving parliament the final say on whether powers in a new bill that would breach the Brexit divorce deal can be used.

A statement issued on behalf of the government and some lawmakers who had threatened to vote down the bill said ministers had agreed to an amendment which would place limits on the ability to use the powers it contains.

The head of the European Commission said on Wednesday the chances of reaching a trade deal with Britain were fading by the day as the British government pushes ahead with moves that would breach their divorce treaty.

The British government announced draft legislation last week which it acknowledges would violate its international legal obligations and undercut parts of the divorce deal it signed before Britain formally left the European Union in January.

Brussels wants Prime Minister Boris Johnson to scrap what is known as the Internal Market Bill, saying it could sink talks on future trade arrangements before Britain finally leaves the EU’s orbit when a status quo transition period ends in December.

Johnson has refused.

“With every day that passes, the chances of a timely agreement do start to fade,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the EU executive.

In a speech to the European Parliament, she said the divorce agreement “cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded or dis-applied”.

Johnson has said the bill was essential to counter “absurd” threats from Brussels including that London be required to put up trade barriers between Britain and its province of Northern Ireland and that the EU would impose a food blockade. Such steps, he said, would threaten the unity of the United Kingdom.

Asked on Wednesday if the EU was negotiating in good faith, Johnson said: “I don’t believe they are.”

“Perhaps they will prove my suspicions wrong,” Johnson said.

Earlier, Britain’s Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis told parliament he stood by remarks he made last week that the bill would “break international law in a very specific and limited way”.

However in a sign of continuing unease with the plans, Scotland’s top law adviser to the British government, Richard Keen, quit his role, saying he could not reconcile his legal obligations with the government’s policy intentions.

His resignation comes after the head of the British government’s legal department quit last week over the issue.

%d bloggers like this: