Brexit: Internal Market Bill Clears First Hurdle in Commons



Laura Luenssberg | BBC News

A proposed law giving Boris Johnson’s government the power to override parts of the Brexit agreement with the EU has passed its first hurdle in the Commons.

MPs backed the Internal Market Bill by 340 votes to 263.

Ministers say it contains vital safeguards to protect Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, if negotiations on a future trade deal break down.

But critics, including a number of Tory MPs, warned it risks damaging the UK by breaching international law.

Two Tory MPs voted against the bill on Monday night – Sir Roger Gale and Andrew Percy – while a further 30 abstained, although some of those may not have been for political reasons.

Although the government has a majority of 80 in the Commons, it is braced for further rebellions in the coming weeks as the legislation receives detailed scrutiny.

Several prominent Conservatives, including former Chancellor Sajid Javid – who appeared to abstain on Monday – have said they could not support the final bill unless it is amended.

But Home Secretary Priti Patel insisted it put the “safeguards and mechanisms in place to ensure that we stay true to the people of Northern Ireland”.

To read the full article, click here.