Explainer: UK says it may break the law on Brexit: how so?

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Northern Ireland minister said on Tuesday that proposed legislation for Britain's internal market - which the EU fears could undermine the Brexit divorce deal - would break international law 'in a limited way'.

Reuters September 09, 2020 00:05:56 IST
Explainer: UK says it may break the law on Brexit: how so?

Explainer UK says it may break the law on Brexit how so

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Northern Ireland minister said on Tuesday that proposed legislation for Britain's internal market - which the EU fears could undermine the Brexit divorce deal - would break international law "in a limited way".

WHAT WAS SAID EXACTLY?

Asked if anything in the proposed legislation did or potentially did breach international legal obligations or arrangements, Brandon Lewis said: "Yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way.

"We are taking the powers to disapply the EU law concept of direct effect required by article 4 in a certain, very tightly defined circumstance.

"There are clear precedence for the UK and indeed other countries needing to consider their international obligations as circumstances change."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The Withdrawal Agreement - the divorce treaty - was enshrined in British law.

Now, the British government says it wants the flexibility to be able to fulfil commitments it made in its manifesto by creating a safety net if the two sides fail to agree on the detail on the Northern Ireland protocol to avoid any potential legal difficulties.

The government wants to make clear that goods from Northern Ireland continue to have unfettered access to the British market and that EU state aid rules - which will continue to apply to Northern Ireland - will not apply in the rest of Britain.

To do that, they are planning to pass domestic legislation to hand ministers more powers rather than complying with the EU principle of direct effect.

"I expect they will include clauses to give exemptions and or override the direct effect in certain circumstances," said Raoul Ruparel, a former special adviser on Europe to Prime Minister Theresa May.

"As Brandon said, this is likely to be a breach of the Withdrawal Agreement."

The government will set out the detail of its policy on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.