UK Introduces New Legislation on Trade with EU, Brexit Row Intensifies

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In the latest development to the Brexit policy, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has stated in the British Parliament on Wednesday that UK’s new legislation ‘Internal Market bill’ could unilaterally change part of UK-EU deal which he admitted in the house would amount to breaking established International law, drawing strong criticism from opposition parties particularly from former PM Theresa May who warned that Britain’s willingness to break agreed International Laws will damage UK’s credentials over-commitment to future trade deals with other States.

According to constitutional experts, the government is looking at Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which enables a state to get out of its treaty obligations when circumstances change radically. Guided by this Article, the new legislation could override parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed by the UK with the European Union (EU) as part of the exit deal. The major bone of contentions between EU and UK has been fisheries and state aid to industries which have brought talks to a complete standstill.

Brandon Lewis argued that the bill is needed to prevent “damaging” tariffs on goods travelling from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland if negotiations with the EU on a free trade agreement fail. Boris Johnson has already stated that if the agreement is not reached before European Council’s meet on October 15, then both sides should be willing to go alone that is No Deal Brexit, something which the consecutive British government since the June 2016 Referendum have tried to avoid as it would harm Britain’s future business with EU.

Britain quit EU on January 31 this year which was the poll promise of Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party for which he got absolute majority in the House of Commons. However, Britain remained part of the single market EU as part of the status quo agreement which will end in December. Germany’s Economy Minister has commented that the UK must honour its commitments and not go for a unilateral change to the agreed deal.

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