Internal market law, which has to pass through the Lords, is yet another factor of division between Brussels and the Boris Johnson government, when the days are counted in order to reach an agreement on the future relationship.
The infringement procedure initiated on Thursday by the European Commission, if the United Kingdom does not back down, should reach the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU), which could impose large fines on London.
It is a scenario that many consider distant, but also in 2015 few would believe that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union. Some people put water on the boil and say that this step is merely “a necessary administrative measure”, as commented by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Which is still a fact: many Member States face dozens of lawsuits for contravening EU laws. According to AFP, this is the 94th action against the United Kingdom.
On the other hand, Johnson’s controversial Internal Market Act, criticized by all previous British heads of government, was passed by the House of Commons after several amendments in the specialty, but has yet to pass through the House of Lords, where conservatives are not in the majority.
Baroness Helena Kennedy, a laborer, accused the British government of “tearing up” the law after the passage of the Internal Market Law and envisaged a rare measure, the rejection of the legislation. For Kennedy, the Lords will be facing a “flagrant violation of international law”. Speaking to the Scottish BBC, Helena Kennedy accused the Boris Johnson government of “Trumpism” and of being composed of “teenagers who do not like the law and are prepared to subvert it in their own interest”.
The bill passed with 340 votes in favor and 256 against allows the United Kingdom to “not apply” agreed rules on which goods should be subject to customs controls, and on the other hand to establish its own rules for state aid to Ireland of the North, possibly undermining the EU’s demand for a level playing field between trading partners.
A spokesman at 10 Downing Street described the bill as necessary to ensure smooth trade in the UK. “We have clearly outlined our reasons for introducing measures related to the Northern Ireland protocol,” said the spokesman. “We need to create a legal safety net to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market, to ensure that ministers can always fulfill their obligations to Northern Ireland and to protect the gains of the peace process.”
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