English House of Commons votes in favour of questionable single market law
The parliamentarians restored clauses that could override parts of the withdrawal treaty. Before that, it sounded like the government was giving in.
What trade relations between the EU and Great Britain will look like after the end of the Brexit transition phase at the end of the year remains unclear. The parliamentarians in London restored controversial passages of the internal market law in the evening.
Among other things, the draft law caused outrage in Brussels because it undermined parts of the EU exit agreement on Northern Ireland that was agreed in the autumn. The UK government had admitted that this was a breach of international law, but at the same time defended the law as a “legal safety net”. The House of Lords removed the controversial clauses. Now they have been reinserted.
Shortly before the start of the debate, the government had indicated that it would give in in the coming days and remove or defuse the passages. There had been constructive talks between the British State Secretary Michael Gove and the Vice President of the EU Commission, Maros Sefcovic, about the implementation of the existing exit agreement, the government announced in London in the afternoon.
Economy Secretary of State Paul Scully said the government was confident of reaching an agreement with Brussels. If there is a final agreement on the solutions discussed in these discussions in the coming days, London will remove the controversial clauses from the Single Market Act. This announcement was interpreted as a sign of goodwill in the stalled talks about a Brexit trade pact. On Tuesday, however, the government wants to introduce another controversial law into the lower house.
The House of Commons approved the Internal Market Act at the end of September. In November, however, the House of Lords rejected several key passages intended to undermine the provisions on Northern Ireland in the Brexit treaty. After the vote on Monday, the proposal will now be presented again to the House of Lords before the House of Commons finally votes on it.