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UK “Breakin’ the Law”?

The hysteria over the British Government’s statement that the will of the Westminster Parliament will override EU law in the UK post-Brexit reflects the dismay of “Remainer” interests that this prospect would disappear in the event of “No Deal” on a trade agreement.

The EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement and its Northern Ireland Protocol were drawn up by Boris Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May under pressure from the euro-unionists of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and other “Remainers”.

It provides that EU rules regarding State aids and customs that were thought necessary in Northern Ireland to ensure that there was no physical border between North and South should extend to the whole of the UK.

This would keep Britain as a whole under the jurisdiction of EU law post-Brexit – the Irish tail continuing to wag the British dog – which is what the “Remainers”, and of course the EU, have always wanted.

It is legal ABC that the unwritten Constitution of the UK is that the Crown in Parliament is sovereign and can therefore pass legislation that is in breach of any external treaty, and there are many precedents for that.

The international law of treaties governs relations between sovereign States. The EU does not claim to be a State, but an arrangement between States, so that any treaty with it does not have the status of a normal inter-State treaty.

The UK Internal Market Bill does no more than assert this classical British constitutional doctrine. The probability still is that there will be an EU/UK trade agreement – in which case the current fuss will be irrelevant.

The far bigger danger for those who want to see the democratic majority vote of the 2016 UK referendum implemented by means of a real Brexit, is that British Big Business as represented by the CBI and other “Remainer” interests will still succeed in pressurising the British Government to sell out on fisheries, State aids and all sorts of other matters when it come to an EU/UK trade agreement between now and the end of the year.

It is far better for British democracy – and ultimately for both parts of Ireland too – that the UK should leave the EU without a special trade deal and continue trading with the EU on the same basis as the USA, Japan, Australia and the other 160 or so world States that are outside the EU and have no special sovereignty-compromising trade deals with the power-grabbing EU empire.


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