UK PM Johnson appeals to party for support over controversial bill

UK publishes post-Brexit Internal Market Bill

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said today that the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland "is not a threat to the integrity of the UK".

Adding fuel to the fire, the Sunday Telegraph reported that British ministers were considering opt-outs from major portions of European human rights law after Brexit, in part to give them greater freedom of action against illegal migrants.

Major and Blair, who led Britain through Northern Ireland's historic peace talks in the 1990s, wrote in the Sunday Times that the government's actions were "shaming itself and embarrassing our nation". Dublin would have the best of both worlds, being brought under dual jurisdiction of the EU and the U.K.to safeguard Britain's constitutional integrity and sovereignty, as also that of the European single market.

Called the Internal Market Bill, the United Kingdom has attempted to ensure that it will be able to trade freely with its constituent countries, namely, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

"We have to protect the UK from that disaster, and that is why we have devised a legal safety net - in the UK Internal Market Bill - to clarify the position and to sort out the inconsistencies", Johnson wrote.

The EU has threatened legal action over the bill, which ministers have said will break global law in a "specific and limited way".

One proposed way to limit the legislation is to amend the Act or stop it from impacting newer laws such as the Overseas Operations Bill.

So contentious were the parliamentary debates over this withdrawal deal that three versions were defeated by massive margins in the House of Commons.

"That's simply not the case", Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee told Sky News.

Mr Johnson's battening down of the hatches is likely to add further malcontent to the ongoing trade negotiations.

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Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, described the legislation as wrong on Sunday.

"We both opposed Brexit".

"What they are doing is seeking to obtain that trade deal, but then planning for what happens if we don't get the trade deal". But this way of negotiating, with reason cast aside in pursuit of ideology and cavalier bombast posing as serious diplomacy, is irresponsible, wrong in principle and risky in practice, ' they said.

Sir Keir called on Mr Johnson to throw out clauses that could breach worldwide law and those that lead the devolved administrations to warn of a "power grab" to get Labour support.

Mr Johnson warned that Brussels could "carve up our country" without his new Bill, as he stepped up his rhetoric as senior Tories prepared to rebel against the legislation.

People wave British Union Jack flags as they celebrate in Parliament Square on Brexit day in London, Britain January 31, 2020.

But this is not the most significant feature of this week's controversial legislation, which aims to override the Irish protocol to the U.K.'s European Union withdrawal agreement.

Speaking on LBC, Tory MP Bob Blackman, Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, said he is supporting the bill and believes "the government is doing exactly the right thing".

Talks between London and Brussels on a future trading relationship are deadlocked as both sides struggle to prise apart almost 50 years of economic integration, after British voters opted for a divorce.

Brussels has also made clear that the future of trade talks are at risk of collapse if Mr Johnson does not perform a U-turn - but Michael Gove has vowed the Government will not be changing course.

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