I have received a number of emails from constituents who have raised concerns over the UK Internal Market Bill and the UK’s respect for international law.
There has been much speculation about the Government’s commitment to treaty obligations and international law. I believe that some of the commentary has misrepresented the situation. It goes without saying that my ministerial colleagues and I are committed to the rule of law as determined by a democratically elected Parliament.
With regard to the provisions on the Northern Ireland Protocol, you should know that the Protocol contains inconsistencies that the UK and EU had intended to resolve by the end of the year. The end of the Transition Period is fast approaching, and with no agreement yet reached, the Government has proposed a safety net to protect the Union and ensure that the UK’s obligations under the Belfast Agreement are met. We must deliver on our promises to the people of Northern Ireland and this Bill allows us to do so.
If no action were taken, the default legal position would risk creating barriers to trade within the UK and could threaten the Union. The EU, for instance, has already suggested blocking the transport of food from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The Government’s proposals make clear this cannot be allowed to happen.