Britain risks becoming “an international pariah” and endangering relations with the United States under Joe Biden’s leadership, the Labor Party said, after ministers pledged to push forward a plan to to break international law by potentially rewriting parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
Lord Falconer, the shadow attorney general, said the government was “in a big hole” on its Home Market bill, which the House of Lords is expected to amend this week to remove the contentious proposals.
George Eustice, the environment secretary, reiterated on Monday that if that happens, ministers will ask MPs to reinstate the relevant clauses. The government was “committed to the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement,” he said.
Biden, who has Irish roots, expressed concern over the UK’s proposal to unilaterally change an international deal, and the potential impact on the Good Friday deal if it ends up being a hard border between l Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Falconer told Sky the government should “stop and think”. He said: ‘What’s the point in making the UK an international outcast, just as a new US president emerges saying, not only do I want the UK government to comply with the Irish Protocol? North, but I want a law-abiding world?
Questions and answers
What is the UK Internal Market Bill?
This, according to the government, is in part to ensure that international traders have access to the UK as a whole, believing that the standards and rules are consistent.
The Scottish government has criticized it as a ‘takeover’ of Westminster, and the Welsh government has expressed fears it will lead to a race to the bottom. If one of the countries that make up the UK lowers its standards, on importing chlorinated chicken, for example, the other three countries will have to accept chlorinated chicken as well.
It has become even more controversial because one of its main objectives is to give ministers the power to adopt regulations even if they are contrary to the Withdrawal Agreement concluded with the EU under the Protocol of North Ireland.
The text does not disguise its intention, asserting that the powers contained in the bill “have effect notwithstanding any relevant international or national law with which they may be incompatible or incompatible.”
The bill passed its first hurdle in parliament by 77 votes, despite rebellion from some Conservative MPs.
Martin Belam and Owen Bowcott
“Making himself an international foreigner, someone who will drop low on the list of people the US will want to do business with, is a very big mistake for the UK.
“The House of Lords is doing the government a service by seeking to remove these illegal provisions. This allows the government to get out of the woods. I would suggest the government stop digging – they’re in a big hole.
Moving the plans forward would mean Biden “was not going to start negotiations” on a speedy US-UK trade deal after Brexit, Falconer said.
Speaking earlier on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, former Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Biden would prefer the UK to stay in the EU. Brown said: “He’s also concerned about the Good Friday deal – he won’t allow a trade deal with Britain to happen if we somehow violate the Friday deal.” Holy. “
Eustice told Today that any concerns about the U.S. home market bill would be unfounded. He said: ‘If one understood exactly what it was about, rather than how it is sometimes caricatured – it is about providing legal clarity, legal certainty and the protection of the internal market in the UK, and most importantly, to stand behind the Belfast accord. “
Eustice has denied that the government has reneged on the agreement to carry out certain checks on goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in order to keep the Irish border open.
“We are not,” he said. “Officials in Northern Ireland are working on the facilities that will be needed to carry out these checks, especially on agri-food products, when they enter Northern Ireland. Much work is also underway on the customs procedures that will be necessary for goods likely to enter the EU market.
“We are absolutely committed to the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement and we are already implementing it.”
But Eustice stressed that the government would seek to reinstate all elements of the bill deleted by its peers.
He told Sky News: “We will. The UK home market bill is not intended to undermine the Belfast deal. It’s about standing behind, making sure it works and defending the interests of Northern Ireland, making sure that the peace and stability that were hard won there can endure.