Boris Johnson does not seem willing to back down, and has already become the first British ruler in recent history to break international agreements that he himself has signed. This Monday night he won the vote on the new Internal Market legislation promoted by his Government, with flagrant violations of the Brexit withdrawal agreement that has been in force since last January 31. In the parliamentary session, Johnson lashed out at the European Union for defending a “necessary” rule because the EU, he said, “had refused to remove a gun from the table in the negotiations.”
Johnson’s attitude has achieved the unthinkable: that all living former prime ministers – John Major, Tony Blair, Grodon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May – are agreeing to criticize the decisions he is making.RELATED
If anything, Johnson won the second-reading parliamentary vote on the internal market bill by 340 – Johnson’s Conservative Party has 364 seats – to 263 votes, after being a previous amendment, though more will come. as he faces a growing rebellion in his party. The real test for the law will come next week, when the amendments relating to Northern Ireland, the source of the violation of what was agreed with the EU, are scheduled to be voted on.
The EU says Johnson’s bill would collapse trade talks and propel the UK into a chaotic Brexit, and former British leaders warned that breaking the law is a step that undermines the country’s image. Johnson, however, said it was essential to counter “absurd” threats from Brussels, including that London would lift trade barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland and impose a food blockade, measures that he said threaten the unity of the country. United Kingdom, even though they are not in any agreement.
“The EU has not yet taken this gun off the table,” Johnson told Parliament before the vote. “What we cannot do now is tolerate a situation where our EU counterparts seriously believe that they have the power to divide our country.”
The EU has required the UK to remove the main parts of the bill by the end of September and that if not, as it is a violation of the withdrawal agreement, there will be no trade agreement by year-end and the case could reach international courts.
Specifically, the text gives the Government the power to modify or cease to apply some rules regarding the movement of goods contained in the protocol on Northern Ireland. That protocol for Northern Ireland would apply only if there is no agreement at the end of the current transition period, and provides for the British province to stay within the single European market for goods together with the Republic of Ireland (in the EU), which it involves creating a system of controls with the rest of the UK: one of the key aspects that the Johnson government wants to alter. For the European Union, this protocol is essential to keep the land border between the two Ireland open, a requirement marked by the Good Friday peace accords that were signed in 1998.
One of the most important conservatives who has joined the criticism is Sajid Javid, economy minister until last February, who declared that he does not understand “why it is necessary for the United Kingdom to violate international law”.
“One of the UK’s greatest strengths and traditions is respect for the law. Our longstanding reputation for keeping our word has made us a more stable, peaceful and prosperous nation,” Javid said in a statement.
Another of the blows Johnson has suffered is the criticism of former State Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who played an important role in the negotiations for the exit agreement from the European Union that was signed last October. “Breaking the law will ultimately lead to permanent and long-term damage to the reputation of this country. It is also a matter of honor for me. We signed and knew what we were signing,” Cox said in statements to the chain Times Radio.