UK bill will breach international law ‘in a limited way’, minister says

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis arrives for John Hume’s funeral at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Londonderry, Northern Ireland August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O’Sullivan

LONDON (Reuters) – Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis said on Tuesday that Britain’s Internal Market Bill, which newspapers said would undermine the Brexit divorce deal, would “break international law”. in a limited way”.

When asked if anything in the bill violates or could violate international legal obligations or arrangements, Lewis replied, “Yes, it violates international law in a very specific and limited way.

“We take the power not to apply the concept of direct effect of EU law required by Article 4 in a certain very narrowly defined circumstance.

“There is a clear precedent for the UK and indeed for other countries to consider their international obligations as circumstances change.”

He said the government’s aim was to meet the Northern Ireland Protocol which is part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement through negotiations with the European Union.

“The clauses that will be in the bill tomorrow are specifically there to fail to ensure that we are able to deliver on our commitments to the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.

Reporting by Michael Holden; edited by Stephen Addison/Guy Faulconbridge