Brexit: Boris Johnson's controversial law lifts first parliamentary obstacle

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, in London on September 14, 2020. AFP / PRU

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4 min

Boris Johnson's plan to go back, in violation of international law, on certain commitments made in the context of Brexit, on Monday, September 14, crossed a first obstacle in the British Parliament despite the sling of part of the conservative camp.


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After stinging Europeans in the midst of trade negotiations, the bill, with controversial provisions concerning Northern Ireland, was approved by 340 votes in favor (263 against), at the end of a day when the House of Commons revived the heated debates around Brexit, which officially entered into force on January 31.

This initial support is no surprise given the large majority

Boris Johnson has


But the continuation of the parliamentary progress of this project promises to be more uncertain with in particular the examination at the beginning of next week of an amendment which would impose a parliamentary lock before any change relating to the agreement to leave the European Union.

It will also require the agreement of the Lords, who make up the upper house of Parliament and say they fear a blow to the credibility of the United Kingdom on the international scene.

Coming in person to MPs to defend the text, Boris Johnson deemed it " 

essential to maintain the political and economic integrity of the United Kingdom


He accused the European Union of using the provisions intended to guarantee peace in Northern Ireland as a " 


 " in the current negotiations and of threatening to create " 

a customs border in our own country


His bill represents a " 

safety net

 ", an " 

insurance policy

 ", which the country will not have to use if London and Brussels manage to agree.

The sling has continued to rise in recent days within the conservative majority.

Boris Johnson



' for Labor

Contravening by the government's own admission of international law, the British Home Market Bill contradicts parts of the withdrawal agreement from the European Union that Boris Johnson signed less than a year ago before campaign by praising the success of a “





The treaty provides for special customs arrangements for Northern Ireland, intended in particular to avoid the reestablishment of a physical border between the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, and the British province, in accordance with the peace agreement of 1998 that ended three bloody decades.

The British bill “ 


 ” the latter, as well as the institutions it created, according to the nationalist party Sinn Fein, favorable to the reunification of Ireland.

Northern Ireland must remain subject to certain European provisions for four years, in particular concerning trade in goods.

But for London, the EU is threatening to refuse to place the UK on the list of countries allowed to export food products to this territory which is part of it, which would prevent imports into Northern Ireland from the rest of the country. .

It's his agreement

 ", " 

his mess

 ", " 

his failure

 ", declared for the Labor opposition the deputy Ed Miliband, throwing a Boris Johnson who " 

for the first time in his life

 " must " 

take his responsibilities

 " .

The Europeans have given London until the end to withdraw the controversial provisions, risking legal action.

Despite these strong tensions, negotiations with the EU on their future trade relationship are due to resume in Brussels on Tuesday.




►Also read: Brexit: the British Parliament examines a controversial bill


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