On the same day the Home Secretary castigated law breakers as a threat to all, her Government introduced a Bill which by their own admission breaks the law. The Internal Market Bill would allow the Government to unilaterally alter the Northern Ireland Protocol, part of the Withdrawal Agreement. It is an international agreement, signed by the Prime Minister himself and voted for by his MP’s. It was to be the precursor of an “oven ready” Brexit deal which helped him win the General Election.
If this Bill is part of a strategy to force the hand of the EU in the negotiations, it risks spectacularly backfiring. How can any deal be reached with a Government prepared to break its word? And you cannot break a law in a “limited specific way”, you either break the law or you don’t.
As successive Prime Ministers have pointed out British Governments honour their treaties and obey international law. If we do not, then no country will trust us in any trade deal going forward. Nor can the UK criticise other countries for breaking the law because we too by implication would be acting like a rogue state. Nor incidentally can the Conservative Party seriously claim to still be the party of, or even respecter of, law and order.
The Government of course has form. Their attempt to shut down parliament was deemed illegal. The Government’s senior adviser’s trip to Barnard Castle breached the Government’s own rules. Not content with trashing the reputation of Government at home, the Government now wants to trash our reputation abroad.