(10 November 2020) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a series of defeats to his controversial Internal Market bill yesterday after the House of Lords removed the sections of the bill that would break international law.
The Internal Market Bill, designed to govern trade within the UK’s four nations – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – will come into force from 1 January, when Britain leaves the EU’s single market, if a successor trade agreement is not reached.
Controversially, it gives UK ministers powers to modify or “disapply” rules relating to the movement of goods, including the Northern Ireland protocol set out in the withdrawal agreement signed with the EU. Those measures have been removed from the bill by the Lords.
Meanwhile, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that the election of Biden, who has Irish heritage, could lead London to “pause for thought”. Senior figures in Biden’s Democratic party have also warned that the bill could also jeopardise the prospects of a UK-US free trade pact. (EurActiv)