MEPs gave their final backing to the government’s plans to bypass parts of its Brexit deal with the EU.
Amid fears that the move would violate international law, ministers agreed to give parliament a say before using the powers that would be granted to it by the domestic market bill.
The bill, which was passed by the House of Commons by 340 to 256 votes, will now be sent to the House of Lords.
The government says it will help protect the integrity of the UK.
But Labor, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the EU say that – allowing the government to cancel parts of a treaty signed by the EU and the UK – could damage its reputation and reputation. the country’s international reputation.
The five former prime ministers of the UK – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May – have spoken out against the bill.
Tuesday’s parliamentary debate came as the EU and the UK began a ninth – and final – round of talks aimed at reaching a trade deal.
The post-Brexit transition period – during which the UK has obeyed EU trade rules and remained in its customs union and single market – comes to an end at the end of the year.
If the parties fail to come to an agreement, the UK will trade with the EU after that on World Trade Organization rules.
This would mean tariffs on most products UK businesses send to the EU, while the UK could also apply tariffs on EU products.
The Home Market Bill is designed to allow goods and services to move freely in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after January 1.
It gives the government the power to change aspects of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, a legally binding agreement governing the terms of Brexit reached earlier this year.
What is the Internal Market Bill?
The bill sets the rules for the functioning of the UK internal market – trade between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – after the Brexit transition period ends in January.
- No new controls on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain
- Give UK ministers the power to change or ‘do away with’ rules on the movement of goods which will come into effect from January 1 if UK and EU are unable to reach agreement alternative through trade agreement
- Powers to go beyond previously agreed state aid obligations – government support to businesses
Ministers say the bill would provide a “safety net” in case the EU interprets the agreement, in particular the section on Northern Ireland, in an “extreme and unreasonable” way. The section – known as the Protocol – is designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The Labor Party, SNP and Liberal Democrats opposed the bill, while the EU asked the UK government to remove “contentious parts” from it by Wednesday.
In the Commons, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the legislation would protect the “shared prosperity” of British nations, adding: “It demonstrates that as a union our country is greater than the sum of its parts. ”
For Labor, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said it was “unprecedented” to “break” a treaty signed by the UK and the EU, and that the government’s position was “noticed in the world”.
Ian Blackford, SNP leader in Westminster, said ministers had “typically and arrogantly plowed” despite opposition to the bill in decentralized countries.
The Democratic Unionist Party backed the government, which already has a majority of nearly 80 in the House of Commons.
No Conservative MP has voted against the bill in its final stages – and while 21 MPs, including Ms. May, did not vote, that doesn’t necessarily mean they abstained.