Peers pledge to block Boris Johnson’s bid to overturn parts of his own Brexit deal


Peers pledge to block Boris Johnson’s attempt to overturn parts of his own Brexit deal to delay it ‘for a considerable time’

  • As part of the Brexit negotiations, the UK and the EU agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol
  • This has caused disruption to goods crossing the Irish Sea between Britain and NI
  • The UK government intends to use the law to unilaterally overturn aspects of it
  • Lord Clarke says he thinks the bill ‘will be seriously challenged in the Lords’

Anti-Brexit peers have warned Boris Johnson they will obstruct legislation to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Ken Clarke has said a controversial bill to be unveiled by ministers early next week will be “seriously challenged” by the Lords.

The former Tory Chancellor, a staunch EU supporter, expects a ‘very large majority’ of his peers to ‘hold back for a considerable time’.

As part of the Brexit negotiations, the UK and the EU agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which aims to avoid the need for a border on the island of Ireland.

But it has led to disruption of goods crossing the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland, with new checks imposed on those heading to the province.

Ken Clarke has said a controversial bill to be unveiled by ministers early next week will be ‘seriously challenged’ by the Lords

Concerns have also been raised that Northern Ireland’s place within the UK is being undermined, with the DUP blocking the formation of a power-sharing executive in Stormont until the issue is resolved. resolved.

The UK government intends to use national law to unilaterally roll back aspects of the post-Brexit arrangements to reduce the controls required. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to release the legislation early next week.

Downing Street yesterday said it remained ‘confident’ the bill ‘is legal under international law’, but Lord Clarke said: ‘I think it will be seriously challenged in the Lords’. Personally, I’m afraid, I usually vote against the government when it tries to violate the rule of law.

“I think in the modern world, we need a rules-based international order where countries come to agreements and then stick to them. I don’t think the government should be allowed to negotiate a treaty, tell the public it’s a beautiful treaty, the perfect Brexit, have it ratified by Parliament and then almost immediately try to to break up.

The UK government intends to use national law to unilaterally roll back aspects of the post-Brexit arrangements to reduce the controls required.  Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to release the legislation early next week.  A lorry is pictured leaving Larne Port in February

The UK government intends to use national law to unilaterally roll back aspects of the post-Brexit arrangements to reduce the controls required. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to publish the legislation early next week. A lorry is pictured leaving Larne Port in February

“I expect an overwhelming majority in the House of Lords to hold him back for a considerable time.”

In November 2020, peers handed the government the biggest defeat in more than two decades over its threat to renege on parts of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

Leading Tories including Michael Howard joined the revolt as the Lords voted 433 to 165 to scrap key clauses from the Home Market Bill.

Lord Howard said last night he expected the new legislation would ‘undoubtedly come up against a bumpy road’ at the Lords.

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