BORIS JOHNSON suffered a technical blunder during a crunch meeting with backbench Tory MPs this evening following threats of a party rebellion against the Prime Minister – forcing former Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene
Mr Johnson has faced increased pressure from members of the 1922 Committee following the introduction of the UK Internal Market Bill this week. The Prime Minister will attempt to win over the group by insisting the legislation is necessary for the UK. Despite fears of a no deal, No 10 has also maintained an agreement between the UK and EU is still possible.
According to ITV News reporter, Paul Brand, 250 MPs joined the call this evening.
During the call, the line allegedly went down causing former ERG chair, Steve Baker to offer to proceed.
However, the former Prime Minister, Mrs May quickly hit out at the suggestion.
The group of backbench MPs have expressed their fears the UK’s reputation could be severely damaged by the new legislation.
Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis admitted in the Commons this week the bill does violate international law.
Therefore, UK officials have insisted the Government cannot violate international agreements.
No 10 has insisted the Internal Market Bill is intended to maintain trade between the devolved nations.
However, controversy erupted amid accusations it now reneges on certain elements of the withdrawal agreement – particularly custom relations between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
In particular, UK ministers would be solely responsible for notifying the EU Commission of the information relating to state aid
Under the bill, they would also have the authority to edit exit declarations for goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
As a result of this, EU officials have stated a free trade agreement between the two is now unlikely.
The legislation is currently going through its initial stages in the Commons before proceeding to the Lords.
Before that, however, peers have already indicated they will vote against the new legislation.
Former Tory leader, Lord Michael Howard of Lympne urged colleagues to block the legislation.
He told Sky News: “I’m sure that many of my Conservative colleagues will be joining me in opposing it.
“And, of course, the Conservative Party in the House of Lords doesn’t have a majority anyway.
“So, I’d be very surprised if it gets through the House of Lords.”
This news comes as MEPs have declared they will block any EU-UK trade deal, unless changes are made to Boris Johnson’s plans.
The group has insisted the new UK legislation has violated internal law.
If the UK presses on with this legislation, the MEPs will block any future trade agreement.
A statement said: “Should the UK authorities breach – or threaten to breach – the Withdrawal Agreement, through the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill in its current form or in any other way, the European Parliament will under no circumstances ratify any agreement between the EU and the UK.”