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The Government must be stopped from breaking international law.

September 14, 2020 4:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat MPs have put forward measures to the Internal Market Bill that will remove controversial clauses that breach the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Respecting the rule of law is fundamental to any self-respecting Government.

The clauses in question allow the UK to unilaterally scrap "exit summary" forms for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and to apply UK state aid rules in Northern Ireland - contrary to what was agreed with the EU. A third clause seeks to protect the above changes from being considered unlawful.

In essence, the Government is trying to break the Withdrawal Agreement and putting the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland at risk.

Instead of ensuring the smooth running of the UK internal market, the Conservatives have sowed tensions between Westminster and the devolved administrations - and have even gone as far as breaking an internationally binding treaty.

Respecting the rule of law is fundamental to any self-respecting Government. This sends the wrong message to the British public at a time when obeying the rules is critical on the Covid front.

The Government should be prioritising securing the best possible deal to protect our economy rather than posturing and blackmailing the EU by threatening to renege on existing commitments.

This sends the wrong message to the British public at a time when obeying the rules is critical on the Covid front.

All this does is fan the flames of nationalism at home and weaken the UK's standing abroad.

There couldn't be a more irresponsible and damaging handling of Brexit.

The Government must drop its breaches of international law and negotiate with the EU in good faith. It will be British workers and businesses that will pay for Boris Johnson's brazen tactics.