Bill that breaches international law will be a dead end for UK Government, says Farry

Alliance MP Stephen Farry has expressed deep concern after the House of Commons passed the Third Stage of the UK Internal Market Bill, with clauses breaching international law.

Earlier, MPs had voted 354-256 against a proposed amendment from Dr Farry, which tried to leave out the controversial Clause 45, which the North Down MP said was the most problematic part.

“It is deeply concerning Parliament has passed a Bill that threatens to break international law. This has wide-ranging implications for the UK’s international credibility,” he said.

“More directly, the prospects of the UK securing a future relationship agreement with the EU until and unless these threats are removed are much diminished. A no trade deal Brexit would have massive implications for the UK economy, and will make the impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol much more challenging.

“It is hard to see how this can be a tenable or sustainable negotiating tactic. It is self-defeating and a dead-end. The majority of people and businesses in Northern Ireland do not want international law breached at all. And they certainly don’t want it breached on some spurious and cynical arguments from the Government about protecting Northern Ireland.

“What has been presented as a safety net is anything but that. Rather it undermines the Good Friday Agreement, the foundation of a shared and interdependent Northern Ireland.”