Find out how your MP voted on the Internal Markets Bill

  • Find out how your MP voted on the Internal Markets Bill

Find out how your MP voted on the Internal Markets Bill

David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom at the time of the Brexit referendum, became the last living former British prime minister to express his concerns about the bill, warning hours before the debate that "passing an act of Parliament and then going on to break an global treaty obligation is the very, very last thing you should contemplate".

MPs voted in favour of a second reading of the Internal Markets Bill by a majority of 77.

A number of Conservative former ministers made clear that they would not support any measure which breached global law, including Andrew Mitchell, Sir Oliver Heald and another former attorney general Jeremy Wright.

But in the House of Commons on Monday, MPs approved it, giving it a second reading by 340 votes to 263.

Although MPs on Monday defeated a Labour attempt to try to kill the bill, amendments have already been proposed for debate during four days of detailed scrutiny starting Tuesday.

Northern Ireland will uniquely remain subject to some European Union rules after Brexit to ensure a free-flowing border with the Republic of Ireland - a crucial part of the 1998 peace accords that ended decades of sectarian violence.

Conservative MP Rehman Chishti tweeted earlier that he had written to Boris Johnson to resign in protest over the Bill.

"Breaking worldwide law is not acceptable and does not create the confidence we need to build our future relationship", the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said last week. "That is the fundamental goal of this bill", he told the MPs.

He said the legislation was necessary to prevent the European Union taking an "extreme and unreasonable" interpretation of the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

Johnson, though, said it was essential to counter "absurd" threats from Brussels including that London put up trade barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland and impose a food blockade - steps he said threatened the UK's unity.

However some senior Conservatives warned they could not support the legislation in its present form after Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted it would breach worldwide law in a "very specific and limited way".

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.

"I believe very strongly we should obey global law".

"I think that this is damaging our worldwide reputation for honest and straight-dealing at a time when we are about to embark on a series of trade negotiations".

Two Tory MPs - Sir Roger Gale and Andrew Percy - voted against the Bill, while 30 did not cast a vote although some may have been "paired" with opposition MPs.

"I took a view that you fight this tooth and nail at every step. There is much to play for yet".

The big challenge for the negotiating teams is to resolve issues that "make this legislation irrelevant" in a bid to secure a deal that is acceptable to all parties, Mr Coveney said speaking on his way into a Cabinet meeting.

He said it erodes trust and makes complex negotiations even more hard.

For Labour, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband - standing in for Sir Keir Starmer who is in coronavirus self-isolation - said Mr Johnson had only himself to blame for signing up to the Withdrawal Agreement.

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

"Because a competent government would never have entered into a binding agreement with provisions it could not live with".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The proposition that we should march through the Lobby as lawmakers and say that we are going to ignore and disavow a law that we have passed, to do with the rule of law, that is completely unacceptable". Both sides accepted the compromise to protect the open border, which helps underpin the peace process in Northern Ireland.