Former Attorney General Jeffrey Cox has said he will vote against the government’s efforts to repeal the Brexit withdrawal agreement when it comes before the Commons.
He accused Boris Johnson of not harming Britain’s international reputation.
The domestic market bill is against the agreement signed by the UK and the European Union earlier this year.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the bill It was an “insurance policy”.
Buckland told the BBC he hoped the powers demanded by ministers would never be needed and that he would resign if the UK stopped violating international law. “In a way that makes me feel unacceptable.”
Cox supported Brexit when the draft agreement was drafted and was the government’s top legal adviser.
Writes in the Times, Cox said he was aware of the unknown consequences when the Prime Minister signed the withdrawal agreement.
“We, the British Government and Parliament, have given our word. Our dignity, our credibility, our self-esteem and our future influence in the world all depend on us to keep that word,” Cox wrote.
He said there were legal ways to address the government’s concerns, such as the procedures outlined in the agreement, to take “temporary and proportionate measures” to protect the UK’s interests if the Commons approves them.
What ministers should not do, no matter how provocative or frustrating, is to permanently and unilaterally assume or use powers to rewrite parts of an agreement that this country entered into freely a few months ago, ”he added.
The UK has demanded that there be no new inspections on the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain as the EU’s single market and customs leave the country on January 1.
The Northern Ireland Protocol, a key part of the withdrawal agreement signed by both sides last year, is designed to prevent a border return to the island of Ireland.
The domestic market bill would empower ministers to reduce or completely eliminate the paperwork required by Northern Irish companies to fill goods for Great Britain, such as exports and exit declarations.
This will allow the UK to revise or redefine “State Aid” rules regarding subsidies to institutions in Northern Ireland, unless the two sides agree on a future trade agreement.
This is controversial as it would change the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, a crucial part of the legally withdrawal agreement agreed by both parties before the UK leaves the European Union on January 31.
The government’s intentions have drawn widespread criticism, with former prime ministers Tony Blair and Sir John Major accusing Johnson of embarrassing the UK.
Former leaders were in power during key periods of the Northern Ireland peace process.
Both asked MPs to reject the shameful attempt to nullify certain parts of the agreement. Writes in the Sunday Times The government’s actions are “irresponsible, wrong in principle and practically dangerous”.
The European Union (EU) has warned the United Kingdom that it will face legal action if controversial elements of the domestic market bill are not removed by the end of this month.
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