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Boris Johnson warned Brexit gamble to spell ‘disaster’ for Tories as severe loss forecast
September 9, 2020
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Boris Johnson sparked an uproar across the European Union after the Government confirmed plans to amend the Northern Ireland protocol included in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill. Brussels has warned a no deal scenario is likely should the UK attempt to override the international treaty struck with the bloc last year. And the Prime Minister could see his gamble for a deal backfire domestically as Conservative Party seats in the north come under threat, according to Brexit researcher David Hearne.
RT UK host Bill Dod said: “If this really is causing tensions with negotiations, and we could end up with no deal, this plan has already caused rumblings across the Conservatives.
“Of course, a no deal could spell disaster for those MPs who won those former Labour seats in last year’s election.”
The Centre for Brexit Studies researched replied: “Yes, the political ramifications are certainly significant.
“You don’t see someone like Jonathan Jones resigning over a minor issue, or even a significant issue of policy. That’s a very significant move in its own right.
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“But you’re right in saying there could be major political headaches as a result of this.”
Top legal civil servant Sir Jonathan Jones announced his resignation on Tuesday after the Government confirmed upcoming changes to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
Sources told The Guardian Sir Jonathan had been clashing with Attorney General for England and Wales Suella Braverman over her interpretation of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
Secretary for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis admitted the proposed amendments would effectively breach international law but insisted the UK could count on precedent to justify the move.
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Mr Lewis said: “Yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way.
“We are taking the powers to disapply the EU concept of direct effect required by Article 4 in a certain, very tightly defined circumstance.
“There are clear precedents for the UK, and indeed other countries, needing to consider their international obligations as circumstances change.”
Mr Lewis is believed to have been referring to the Finance Act 2013 when suggesting there are precedent for the UK to amend an international treaty through domestic legislation.
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But former Chancellor George Osborne, who spearheaded the act, pointed out the UK had then acted in agreement with all parties to the treaty.
Commenting on Twitter, Mr Osborne said: “My 2013 Finance Act is being cited today as an example of breaking international law.
“To avoid any confusion: it created a general anti-tax avoidance rule that could override double tax treaties, but all parties to these treaties accept such rules – and the OECD backs them.”
Brexit negotiations have entered the eighth round this week, with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, meeting in London in a bid to secure a deal before the end of October.
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