Boris Johnson Climbs Down On Law-Breaking Brexit Plans Amid Tory Rebellion

PM strikes a compromise on controversial Internal Market Bill after another of his most senior law officers quit.

Boris Johnson has struck a compromise with Tory MPs who were rebelling over his controversial plans to break international law over Brexit.

The prime minister revealed he would accept demands to give MPs a parliamentary veto on key powers which would allow ministers to renege on the Brexit withdrawal agreement (WA) he negotiated and signed this year.

It came with the government facing a major Tory rebellion on the issue in a Monday Commons vote on the Internal Market Bill.

Dozens of MPs were lining up to back the amendment by senior Tory and Commons justice committee chair Bob Neill, to ensure parliament had a vote before the key powers were exercised.

But Johnson and the MP have now agreed that the government will table its own amendment to achieve this, which Neill and potentially other rebels will back.

It came after one of Johnson’s most senior legal officers resigned over the law-breaking plans.

Jonathan Jones, the head of the government’s legal department, and the PM’s religion envoy Rehman Chishti, have already quit over the plans.

Neill, No.10 and Damian Green, chair of the Tory One Nation caucus, announced the compromise in a joint statement.

They said: “Following constructive talks over the last few days, the government has agreed to table an amendment for committee stage (of the Bill, on Monday).

“This amendment will require the House of Commons to vote for a motion before a minister can use the ‘notwithstanding’ powers contained in the UK Internal Market Bill.

“The Internal Market Bill was designed to give MPs and peers a vote on the use of these powers via statutory instrument.

“But following talks, it is agreed that the parliamentary procedure suggested by some colleagues provides a clearer, more explicit democratic mandate for the use of these powers, and also provides more legal certainty.

“The government will table another amendment which sets clear limits on the scope and timeliness of judicial review into the exercise of these powers.

“This will provide people and businesses with the certainty that they need.

“We welcome the way the parliamentary party has come together on these issue.

“There is near-unanimous agreement that the government must be able to use these powers as a final resort, that there must be legal certainty, and that no further amendments are required on these powers.”


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