• The Student Lens

Internal Market Bill Controversy Continues

In the wake of the controversial Internal Market Bill’s passage in the Commons by 77 votes, Boris Johnson has reached a compromise with rebellious Tory MPs, such as ex-justice minister Sir Bob Neill and former work and pensions secretary Damian Green. By introducing an amendment which would give MPs a vote on whether the withdrawal agreement is overridden or not, Johnson has aimed to alleviate fears that the bill would contravene international law.

This may have been in response to the resignation of Lord Keen, Scotland’s Advocate General, who had voiced his concerns over the combining of his personal views on maintenance of UK legal standards in the global arena and a Johnson government’s approach saying, ‘I have found it increasingly difficult to reconcile what I consider to be my obligations as a Law Officer with your policy intentions.’

The Bill had also proved unpopular with devolved administrations that raised the question of exactly who would set the standards or what would form the basis of them in a post-Brexit scenario. Taking into consideration Nicola Sturgeon and Johnson’s opposing views on Brexit, Johnson’s intentions in introducing the Bill will inevitably be used as ammunition to heighten Remainer angst in Scotland and ultimately push for a second independence referendum.

Further confusion arose as under Article 5 of the withdrawal agreement, both the British government and the EU have a duty to negotiate ‘in good faith’. But when Johnson was placed under the glare of committee scrutiny he suggested this wasn’t what was happening on the EU side of affairs, in direct contradiction to Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis who indicated that the EU was in fact acting in good faith.


Sixth form student at Banbridge Academy in County Down, Northern Ireland. Interests in current affairs and playing the piano and viola.

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