Ex-UK attorney general condemns bid to rewrite Brexit deal

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference at Downing Street London Wednesday Sept. 9 2020 following the announcement that the legal limit on social gatherings is set to be reduced from 30 people to six. The

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference at Downing Street London Wednesday Sept. 9 2020 following the announcement that the legal limit on social gatherings is set to be reduced from 30 people to six. The

Boris Johnson's controversial plan to override key elements of the Brexit deal he signed with Brussels has cleared its first Commons hurdle despite deep misgivings by some senior Tories.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to ship scathing criticisms - but his plan to break an European Union treaty and change Northern Ireland's special trade status is marching on.

Sir Roger acknowledged he was in a "tiny minority" among Tory MPs but predicted others could rebel when the Commons comes to consider amendments to the Bill next week.

The Government tally was bolstered by the support of seven DUP MPs.

Johnson, though, said it was essential to counter "absurd" threats from Brussels including that London put up trade barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland and impose a food blockade - steps he said threatened the UK's unity.

Later in the parliamentary debate, Miliband said of the bill: "What the Prime Minister is coming to this House to tell us today is that his flagship achievement, the deal he told us was a triumph, the deal he said was "oven-ready", the deal on which he fought and won the general election is now contradictory and ambiguous".

MPs will begin detailed line-by-line scrutiny of the Bill on Tuesday, with votes expected next week on amendments to the Northern Ireland provisions which some Tories may back. Others have quite clearly decided they want to hold their fire for Bob Neill's amendment. "There is much to play for yet".

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid is among a group of Tory MPs to have said they won't back the bill unless it is amended.

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In Parliament last week Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis admitted the plan would break global law in a "very specific and limited way".

Under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Northern Ireland remains closely aligned with the EU's internal market, in order to prevent a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

British lawmakers on Monday backed a new bill that would override parts of the Brexit treaty struck with the European Union previous year, despite outrage in Brussels and alarm at home over such an overt breach of global law.

During the debate, Labour's shadow business secretary Ed Miliband ridiculed Mr Johnson's previous election catchphrase of "get Brexit done" by warning the bill "gets Brexit undone", adding: "I never thought respecting worldwide law would in my lifetime be a matter of disagreement".

"Either he was not straight with the country in the first place or he did not understand it", said Miliband.

"Because a competent government would never have entered into a binding agreement with provisions it could not live with".

A number of Conservative former ministers made clear that they would not support any measure which breached worldwide law, including Andrew Mitchell, Sir Oliver Heald and another former attorney general Jeremy Wright.

"Mr Mitchell said he backed large parts of the Bill, but would not back it unless it was amended, but ". deliberately voting to breach worldwide law is something which I can not do.

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