A bill on the British internal market that the government in London will introduce on Wednesday is indeed contrary to international law.
British Minister for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis confirmed on Tuesday that the law conflicts with parts of the separation treaty agreed between the EU and London last October.
International law is being violated with the new law “in a particular and limited way,” Lewis said in parliament. He said there are clear cases of countries “having to reconsider their international obligations if circumstances change”.
After lengthy negotiations, the agreement on Britain’s departure from the EU included a provision on how to deal with the border between the EU Member State Ireland and British Northern Ireland.
According to Lewis, the government wants to “fully” comply with the protocol, but the new law contains clauses in case that does not work.
The law would create a “safety net” to ensure that goods can be transported without tariffs and charges within the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, the minister said.
In addition, the law must stipulate that EU state aid rules apply in the Northern Ireland province, but not in England, Scotland and Wales.