On Monday, the House of Lords rejected the parts of Prime Minister Johnson’s controversial Brexit law, which are ‘contrary to international law’. This is mainly about agreements on Northern Ireland that have been made between London and the EU in the exit treaty.
The lords voted 433 to 165 for the revoking of the clause in the bill, which allows British ministers to unilaterally nullify parts of the exit treaty with the EU. According to Johnson, the so-called Internal Market Act is necessary to protect the internal movement of goods in the United Kingdom. He sees it as a’ safety net‘ and ’ insurance policy ‘ to preserve the political and economic integrity of the UK if there is no trade agreement with the EU.
Johnson has acknowledged that the law violates international law, while many of his party colleagues fear that it would jeopardize the United Kingdom’s international reputation. The House of Commons has already given the law the green light for the time being. The House of Lords is now saying that the passages that violate the treaty with the EU should be deleted, as called for by Brussels.
The bill threatens, according to critics, to undermine peace in Northern Ireland, a fear also expressed by the incoming US president Joe Biden. Johnson can now choose to delete the passages in question or maintain them if the House of Commons is to re-examine the bill next month. He said earlier on Monday that the clauses in question constitute a’ vital ‘ safety net.
Should the EU and the UK conclude a trade agreement, the passages may no longer be necessary. The negotiations are at a final stage, and there are some optimistic signs.
The British will no longer be bound by EU laws as of 1 January. In the exit treaty, the EU continues to control trade with Northern Ireland, partly to prevent border controls with EU member state Ireland.