David Cameron has become the fifth former prime minister to criticize a new bill trying to override the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
No. 10 says the Internal Market Bill was “a crucial part of the law for the UK”.
But Mr Cameron said he had “misunderstandings” about it and that breaking the international treaty should be the “ultimate refuge”.
Former Tory PMs Theresa May and Sir John Major and Labor’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have condemned the plan.
However, an official spokesman for Boris Johnson said the bill provided a “significant legal safety net” so that the government could take “the necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the UK’s internal market” – a measure it had never hoped to use.
MPs will discuss it in its second reading from 16:30 BST (15:30 GMT), the Prime Minister will comment on the opening, and this preliminary phase is expected to pass after the vote at around 22:00.
But the law faces more difficulties in its later stages, especially when the bill comes up for discussion at Lord’s.
Former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox accused Mr Johnson “Unconventional” damage to Britain’s international reputation And said it “stops” its support for the bill in its current form.
Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Recognition, Tory MP Rehman Chishti, Has resigned over the proposed law, Saying: “I have always behaved in a way that respects the rule of law … [and] Currently voting for this bill would be against my values, which I love. ”
A senior government source told the BBC that “all options are on the table” in terms of possible action against Tory MPs who do not support the bill.
Ed Miliband, the business secretary of Labor’s shadow, also called the proposed law “legal bullying.”
After Mr. Miliband, the opponent will stand towards Sir Care Starr in the dispatch box The labor leader was forced to separate himself at home When a member of his household developed possible symptoms of coronavirus.
The UK left the EU on January 1, negotiating with the group and signing a withdrawal agreement.
The two sides are now in the final weeks of negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal Transition period Ends December 31 – with informal talks in Brussels this week.
The main part of the withdrawal agreement – which is now an international treaty – was the Northern Ireland Protocol, designed to prevent a tight border back to the island of Ireland.
The government’s proposed internal market bill would override that part of the agreement when it comes to goods and would allow the UK to amend or reinterpret “state aid” rules on subsidies for payments in Northern Ireland, in which case the parties disagree for future trade deals. .
Last week, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the bill would break “international law” “in a specific and limited way”., Leading to criticism from all sides of the political spectrum.
Here we go again … Brexit deadline has loomed, there is noise about it in Westminster, and the UK and EU cannot agree.
And yes, yet again, there is a revolving soup of curvature in every other sentence.
Take a few steps back though, and here’s all this – how the UK will trade with its immediate neighbors from January next year and how different parts of the UK will trade with each other.
This is important economically – and politically as well.
The Brexit process has long highlighted tensions between the UK and Brussels, but don’t underestimate that tension on the UK either.
Those in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales who have long argued for being unscathed from London, as they see it, argue that Brexit is the final case study to clarify their argument.
And so on the delicate task of Westminster the government has to get the UK out of the EU from one union, while with the other, to hold the UK.
This is the central goal of all rows.
Mr Cameron – who called for an EU referendum when he was prime minister – said he had “misunderstood what was being suggested”.
Speaking to reporters, he said: “Passing an act of parliament and then breaking the obligation of an international treaty is the very last thing you have to consider. That should be the absolute ultimate intention.”
Mr Cameron said the “big picture” was to try to negotiate a trade deal with the EU, urging the government to ” [and] That big prize in mind. “
The comments follow harsh criticism from four other UK surviving former prime ministers.
Ms May, who still sits as an MP in the Consulate, said breaking international law would hurt “confidence” in the UK, while Mr Brown said it amounted to “self-harm” for the country.
Sir John and Mr Blair – both of whom were in office fees during the main period of the Northern Ireland peace process – Wrote a joint article in the Sunday Times Mr Johnson accused the UK of being “embarrassed” and urged MPs to reject a “shameful” attempt to override parts of the withdrawal agreement.
Earlier, Policing Minister Kit Malthhouse called the bill a “practical” step, saying it “solves the problem we are facing” over the future of trade with the EU.
He told BBC Breakfast: “What we have done is to say transparently that this is a situation that we think can happen – this is exactly what is being suggested by the European Union. This is a problem that we need to solve. Is therefore resolving it.
“In the end, those who oppose the bill will tell us what the resolution is.”
On Sunday, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told the BBC that the bill was an “insurance policy policy” if the UK and the EU did not agree on a post-Brexit trade deal.
He said he hoped the powers sought by ministers would never be needed, and would resign “in a way that is unacceptable to me” if the UK violated international law.
But Labor leader Sir Carey Starme accused government ministers of “giving false information” over the weekend and “spinning” the reasons for pushing the new bill forward.
He told LBC: “[Mr Johnson] There is a mistake being made in renewing the treaty – which would be a significant loss for the UK.
“I will tell the Prime Minister, go away, go back to the drawing board, leave these problems, don’t act this carelessly and wrongly and we will look at the law again.”
The bill has a different opinion on the Tory backbench.
MP Sir Desmond Swayne said he would support the bill, praising the government for preparing it if no trade deal is agreed by the end of the year.
He told BBC News: “If the government does not take precautions against this possibility, it will be completely negligent. It is only right that it should be in power.”
But his colleague and chairman of the judge’s selection committee, Sir Bob Neal, said the government and its supporters needed to “calm the language.”
He said the government already has a mechanism in place to address the concerns, but is prepared to “meet them halfway” by amending the bill – allowing the use of elements that violate international law only if parliament signs it.
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