BORIS JOHNSON’s plan to pass legislation to remove the binding obligation on the parties involved to negotiate in good faith does not breach the UK’s obligation to the European Union according to a Conservative MP.
Desmond Swayne told BBC News that the only question of breaching the obligation arises if the UK Government actually use the powers in the new bill. The Tory MP added that he expected international opinion to side with Britain on the matter.
Mr Swayne said: “I am saying two things, first of all passing the bill itself does not breach any obligation.
“The only question of breaching an obligation arises if we actually use the powers in the bill
“I am saying that if we get to that stage of having to use the powers that are set out in the bill, the withdrawal agreement will have been voided by the abandonment of the binding obligation on the parties to negotiate in good faith and to achieve by their best endeavours the agreement.
“I am not a lawyer and I am not sure what sort of arbitration could take place.
“I think international opinion would be pretty much on Britain’s side in looking at what has happened in the last couple of years.”
Earlier today, the Prime Minister was warned that the updated Brexit bill may not make it through the House of Lords.
Boris Johnson has received a lot of criticism after launching his controversial plans to override key elements of the withdrawal agreement
Former Conservative leader Lord Howard of Lympne told Sky News it is “damaging” to the Government’s reputation.
Lord Howard said: “It is against the law and there’s no getting away from that.
“That is what the Government has said.
“I’m afraid I think it’s very damaging to our international reputation.
“The damage I think can be mitigated if the Government thinks again and reconsiders its position.
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to do that but that would be one way to limit the damage.
“I’m sorry to say I think it is very damaging.”
He added: “I would be surprised if it gets through the House of Lords.
“I’m sure many of my conservative colleagues will join me in opposing it and of course the Conservative Party in the House of Lords doesn’t have a majority anyway.
“I would be very surprised if it gets through.”