Layla: Johnson debases the office of PM with NI Protocol Bill

Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran has said that Boris Johnson is debasing the office of Prime Minister by proposing breaching international law in the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. She said:

It’s astounding that at exactly the moment when we should be standing united with our allies in the face of Russia’s aggression, the Conservative Government has decided to ignite a diplomatic firestorm.

“From breaking his own laws at home to attempting to breach international law abroad, Boris Johnson has debased the office of Prime Minister.

“If the Conservatives enact these proposals, they risk starting a trade war with our closest neighbours which will push prices up even further. In the midst of this cost of living emergency, this is the last thing families up and down the country need.”

The Hansard Society has been digging into the detail of the Bill and has found that it reduces parliamentary scrutiny and gives ministers a carte blanche to do pretty much what they want. They set out their concerns in this Twitter thread:

And if there were any changes to the protocol as a result, they wouldn’t have to come back to Parliament.

They will be producing a fuller briefing in due course but they make some suggestions as to where the House of Lords could, and to be honest probably will, tighten up the language. The problem is that the Commons will just overturn whatever they decide. How far will the peers be prepared to push?

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10 Comments

  • Boris Johnson and his government are turning our country into a right wing dictatorship and everyone should be truly worried, well said Layla keep up the attack on him.

  • Layla…. Johnson debases the office of PM with NI Protocol Bill.

    Johnson debases the office of PM by being there. However, the purpose of their actions on the NIP (and Rwanda) is to inflame their ‘Us and Them’ doctrine of divide and rule..

    Apart from being illegal (to everyone outside Johnson’s inner circle) the action will directly harm the NI economy (they are outperforming the rest of the UK), ferment sectarian division and lead to international legal action and possible EU sanctions..Again, this is what Johnson, Truss, et al, want; a rallying of the ‘Bulldog British’ against those foreigners..

    Sadly, if my pub conversations are anything to go by, it is working..

  • George Thomas 14th Jun '22 - 2:02pm

    How many Tory MP’s are there? How many Tory members? How many Telegraph readers? This small group of people are running, and ruining, the UK (and have been for majority of past 100 years) while everyone else is trying to work out a strategy for fighting back and what alternative direction to go in.

    They’ll be sent packing eventually but they’ve seen America and understand that finding the equivalent of Trump controlling the Supreme Court is the way to win longer term.

    Next election they’ll claim to be the unionist party and some will believe them despite what they’ve done.

  • …by proposing breaching international law in the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

    What is this “international law” and how might the government’s proposed amendments possibly break it?

    ‘Jurisdiction upon and after the UK’s withdrawal: The perspective from the UK Constitutional Order’:
    https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2018/596831/IPOL_BRI(2018)596831_EN.pdf

    The UK is a dualist state, which gives domestic legal effect to international treaties only to the extent provided for in Acts of Parliament or other secondary legislation.

    The Hansard Society has been digging into the detail of the Bill and has found that it reduces parliamentary scrutiny and gives ministers a carte blanche to do pretty much what they want.

    Some people worry about the wrong things. In the last 18 months the EU has imposed 4,000 new laws on Northern Ireland without any UK parliamentary scrutiny or input from the Northern Ireland Assembly whatsoever. These laws apply to all businesses supplying goods in Northern Ireland even though only a tiny percentage (0.7% for the UK as a whole) actually export any goods to the EU.

    ‘EU’s 4,000 new laws on Northern Ireland justifies Brexit Bill overwrite, ministers say’:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/06/13/eus-4000-new-laws-northern-ireland-justifies-brexit-bill-overwrite/

    Ministers cited the astonishing toll of new EU red tape, which the province has to apply with no say in how it is made, to justify their move to overwrite swathes of the Brexit deal.

    They said some of the changes have “uniquely disadvantaged Northern Ireland” compared to Great Britain…

  • …………………They said some of the changes have “uniquely disadvantaged Northern Ireland” compared to Great Britain…………..

    Strange then that the NI economy is outstripping the rest of the UK (Office for National Statistics figures) and that the majoriity of the supported by a majority of MLAs and the overwhelming majority of businesses.
    Even the Confederation of British Industry were moved to accuse ministers of Brexit “grandstanding” and of damaging investment.

    Still, let’s just parrot Daily Telegraph/Mail/Express headlines

  • Tristan Ward 15th Jun '22 - 9:02am

    @ Jeff

    “What is this international law…..”

    Our Government signed up to an international treaty (the Brexit agreement) . My interpretation of this is that there is essentially a contract between between UK and the EU the ter.s of which the UK has agreed to honour.

    The UK has now signaled its intention to breach the contract. It is clear the Government consides itself as legally bound by the Withdrawal agreement since it has to pass an Act to give itself legal authority to breach it.

    The Withdrawal Agreemnt is governed by international law – that is a wider set of treated the UK has signed up to over the years about enforcement of treaties such as the Withdrawal agreement. The EU is going to try to get a declaration from the internationalal courts is in breach of the Withdrawal agreement. I the EU will probably will this.

    The result of this is that the johnson builds the UKs reputation as a country that dies not honour its agreements willing entered into. People won’t trust us.

    AnD we probably get a trade war with our largest trading partner in the middle of a cost of living crisis and international crisis. Not a good look, and very bad economics.

  • Chris Platts 15th Jun '22 - 10:57pm

    When a more sensible government is elected hopefully the current legislation that has been brought in by the current government should be repealed.

  • @Barry Lofty – The UK Parliament was set up as an elected dictatorship; the LibDems headline ‘reform’, namely some form of PR, doesn’t change this. Boris, through his actions and disregard for the veneer of democracy, is simply exposing this truth.

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