Ed Miliband tears into Boris Johnson over Northern Ireland and Brexit

Johnson who has a majority of 80 in the lower house of parliament is facing a growing rebellion from lawmakers in his Conservative Party. — Reuters

The EU has rejected Johnson's version of events and threatened to take legal action against the British government if it did not drop the proposed bill by the end of September.

Johnson's move threatens to sink already-foundering negotiations between Britain and the European Union on a post-Brexit trade deal.

Last week the European Commission gave Johnson until the end of September to withdraw the bill and threatened to take legal action against the United Kingdom, with Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič describing the bill as an "extremely serious violation" of the Withdrawal Agreement which had "seriously damaged trust between the EU and the UK".

Several prominent Conservatives, including former Chancellor Sajid Javid, have said they could not support the final bill unless it is amended, with a number expected to have abstained in Monday's vote.

It's about exit declarations - Northern Ireland to GB - and the definition of state aid relating to Northern Ireland.

The prime minister also held a call with his Tory party members of the House of Lords on Monday night in anticipation of the bill eventually moving to the Lords.

Responding to the Prime Minister's claims that the bill is needed for barrier-free trade with Northern Ireland, Miliband said: "This bill does precisely nothing to address the issue of the transport of food from Great Britain to Northern Ireland".

"I simply can not approve or endorse a situation in which we go back on our word, given solemnly", Cox said Monday on Times Radio.

The EU has demanded the bill be withdrawn before the end of the month, insisting angrily that Britain must uphold its commitments.


But critics warn that it risks damaging the United Kingdom by breaching global law.

"Struck by the needlessly antagonistic & utterly false rhetoric tonight in Westminster as the Internal Market Bill was debated".

British lawmakers on Monday backed a new bill that would override parts of the Brexit treaty struck with the European Union past year, despite outrage in Brussels and alarm at home over such an overt breach of global law. Both sides accepted the compromise to protect the open border, which helps underpin the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Johnson put a temporary halt to the deadlock by sealing a divorce deal with Brussels late past year, which he used to win a thumping 80-seat victory in a December general election. That was agreed through the Northern Ireland protocol that could have resulted in an effective border down the Irish Sea if a trade deal was not reached. This is his deal, it's his mess, it's his failure.

"Either he wasn't straight with the country about the deal in the first place or he didn't understand it", Mr Miliband said.

One of Johnson's special envoys, MP Rehman Chishti, earlier quit over the bill - and more trouble could be ahead.

Now the bill has passed its second reading, it will face four more days of debate on its fine print - a stage at which lawmakers can try to insert revisions that could change the entire meaning of the bill, or even kill it.

Even some Brexit-backing Tories are unhappy, with one, Charles Walker, saying: "I'm no fan of the European Union. but surely we have to exhaust all other options before we press the nuclear button".

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