LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a heavy defeat in parliament’s upper chamber on Monday over proposed laws which would allow him to breach Britain’s EU exit treaty – a plan that has been criticised by U.S. president elect Joe Biden.
The Internal Market Bill is designed to protect trade between Britain’s four nations after Brexit. It contains clauses ministers say are needed to protect Northern Ireland’s delicate status as part of the United Kingdom, but would also break international law in a “specific and limited” way.
The House of Lords voted to strip those clauses from the bill in a series of defeats for the ruling Conservative Party. The government does not have a majority in the Lords and even some high-profile Conservative members opposed the clauses.
“The government should see sense, accept the removal of these offending clauses, and start to rebuild our international reputation,” said Angela Smith, the opposition Labour Party’s leader in the Lords.
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