UK bill would break international law 'in a specific and limited way', minister says

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 08, 2020, 06.58 PM(IST)

A pro-Brexit supporter holds a placard at Parliament Square on Brexit day, in London, Britain. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Many reports coming in on September 7 claimed that the the proposed legislation would undermine the Brexit deal in place

Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis on Tuesday said the proposed legislation for UK’s internal market would break international law, but “in a limited way”.

Many reports coming in on September 7 claimed that the the proposed legislation would undermine the Brexit deal in place.

'Specific and limited way'

When asked if the proposed legislation would defy or breach international laws, Lewis said,”Yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way”.

"We are taking the powers to disapply the EU law concept of direct effect required by article 4 in a certain, very tightly defined circumstance”, he added.

Also read: British PM Boris Johnson sets October 15 as deadline for Brexit negotiations with EU

"There are clear precedence for the UK and indeed other countries needing to consider their international obligations as circumstances change”, he further said.

Additionally, Lewis said that the government plans to deliver and work further on the Northern Ireland protocol, part of the Brexit deal. This may be achieved by more negotiations with the European Union.

"The clauses that will be in the bill tomorrow are specifically there for should that fail ensure that we are able to deliver on our commitments to the people of Northern Ireland," he said.

EU warns Britain

EU leader Ursula von der Leyen warned Monday that Britain is legally obliged to respect the Brexit withdrawal agreement, which must form the basis on any future relationship.

Also read: 'We won't blink first': UK warns the EU on Brexit trade negotiations

"I trust the British government to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, an obligation under international law and prerequisite for any future partnership," the president of the European Commission said.

Von der Leyen issued her warning after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a deadline for a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union. He has set October 15 as the deadline, brushing off fears about "no-deal" chaos if talks fail. 

This week, the eighth round of negotiations between the two will resume in London. Both sides talking increasingly tough, amid accusations of intransigence and political brinkmanship.

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