Brexit: Buckland 'prepared to quit' if United Kingdom breaks law

Daniel Fowler
September 14, 2020

"It gives no such guarantee, but what it does purport to guarantee, namely, acceptance of Northern Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom, is the very thing Blair and Major are wanting to trash, without the consent that the Belfast Agreement was supposed to entrench", the North Antrim MLA said.

Ministers are considering opt-outs from the Human Rights Act (HRA) in areas the Government believes European judges have 'overreached, ' according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Writing in The Times, Mr Cox, who backed the Leave campaign, warned he would not back the UK Internal Market Bill unless ministers dispel the impression they plan to "permanently and unilaterally" rewrite an worldwide agreement.

Sir John and Mr Blair, the former Conservative and Labour leaders, united to condemn Mr Johnson's controversial UK Internal Market Bill in an article for the Sunday Times.

"We have broken the trust of our worldwide partners", Mr Starmer wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, adding that his party would oppose the bill in parliament unless changes were made.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said that he will resign from the government if he sees worldwide law being broken "in a way that I find unacceptable".

So contentious were the parliamentary debates over this withdrawal deal that three versions were defeated by massive margins in the House of Commons.

"What is being proposed now is shocking", Mr Major and Mr Blair, who were adversaries in the 1990s as Conservative and Labour leaders, wrote in a joint letter published by the Sunday Times newspaper.

Despite Mr Johnson's attempts to drum up support, Tory rebels suggested their numbers were growing and opinions were only hardened by Mr Johnson's increased rhetoric.

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"We both opposed Brexit".

Mr Starmer called on Mr Johnson to throw out clauses that could breach worldwide law and those that lead the devolved administrations to warn of a "power grab" to get Labour support.

"It raises questions that go far beyond the impact on Ireland, the peace process and negotiations for a trade deal - crucial though they are". Neither the trade-only-in-goods that this arrangement implied, nor the severe limits on concluding trade pacts with third countries was palatable for both hard Brexiters and even pro-remain politicians across parties.

Sir John and fellow former PM Tony Blair described the legislation as "shaming" and said it "questions the very integrity of our nation". But this way of negotiating, with reason cast aside in pursuit of ideology and cavalier bombast posing as serious diplomacy, is irresponsible, wrong in principle and unsafe in practice.

It's unclear whether the planned legislation will get through the British Parliament, with a number of Johnson's fellow Conservatives uneasy at the prospect of the government breaching global law.

"I don't believe we're going to get to that stage", he added, reiterating Johnson's view that the new bill is an "insurance policy" in the event of a Brexit "no deal" this year.

People wave British Union Jack flags as they celebrate in Parliament Square on Brexit day in London, Britain Jan 31, 2020. A number of Tory MPs intend to abstain on Monday's vote, with up to 30 expected to back the amendment tabled by Sir Bob Neill, chair of the justice select committee, next week.

But this is not the most significant feature of this week's controversial legislation, which aims to override the Irish protocol to the U.K.'s European Union withdrawal agreement.

Mr Johnson "set out his case but it hasn't changed anything that I think".

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