The Europeans, who have accelerated their preparations for a no-deal exit on December 31 at midnight, while negotiations on future relations, in particular trade with the United Kingdom, are sluggish, are demanding the complete withdrawal of this bill.

By the British authorities’ own admission, this bill flouts international law. However, that did not prevent it from being adopted in the House of Commons. LBritish MPs on Tuesday, September 29 approved a controversial text by Boris Johnson’s government, which proposes to partially reverse the Brexit agreement signed at the end of 2019 by the United Kingdom and the European Union.

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This bill, which comes a few weeks before the end of the transition period, on December 31, angered Europeans, in the midst of negotiations between London and the 27. It had also created dissension within the party of the majority, the Conservative Party, where several prominent members had expressed reservations, fearing that the enactment of such a law would damage the image and credibility of the United Kingdom in future trade negotiations.

This “Internal Market Bill” (in French, “draft law on the internal market”) was passed third reading in the evening by MPs with 340 for and 256 against, paving the way for its consideration by the Lords in the weeks to come.

Presented on September 9, this proposal aims to “protect jobs and trade” within the UK at the end of the transition period, the government said. Its goal: to allow London tofree from certain clauses of the withdrawal agreement negotiated and validated with the EU at the end of 2019, in order to manage its internal market as it sees fit. The main sticking point remains the destiny of Northern Ireland, British territory on the island of Ireland, itself a country that is part of the EU: it is the “Northern Irish protocol”.

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By proposing this law, Boris Johnson wants, on his terms, “to ensure the fluidity and security of our UK internal market ” and ensure that the decisions taken in London, in particular as regards public aid, can be applied to Belfast, even if they were to contravene what was decided between London and Brussels in the said protocol.

London recognizes that this text partially violates international law but Boris Johnson justifies it by the need, he said, to protect the North Irish province from “ambiguities” present in the texts already concluded with Brussels. Thus, the Europeans, who have accelerated their preparations for a no-deal exit while negotiations on future relations, in particular trade with the United Kingdom, are sluggish, are calling for the complete withdrawal of this bill.

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