Justice Secretary Robert Buckland Suggests He Could Quit If UK Breaks Law Over Brexit

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The justice secretary has suggested he will quit the government if it breaks the law over Brexit but insisted “we are not at that stage”.” data-reactid=”8″>The justice secretary has suggested he will quit the government if it breaks the law over Brexit but insisted “we are not at that stage”.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Robert Buckland defended the controversial Internal Market Bill, which gives UK ministers the power to unpick key parts of Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement (WA) that govern trade in Northern Ireland.” data-reactid=”9″>Robert Buckland defended the controversial Internal Market Bill, which gives UK ministers the power to unpick key parts of Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement (WA) that govern trade in Northern Ireland.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He suggested the powers were only an insurance policy to be used if negotiations with the EU in the so-called joint committee, which monitors the implementation of the WA, collapse.” data-reactid=”10″>He suggested the powers were only an insurance policy to be used if negotiations with the EU in the so-called joint committee, which monitors the implementation of the WA, collapse.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It comes after Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis admitted last week that powers in the Bill will “break international law”.” data-reactid=”11″>It comes after Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis admitted last week that powers in the Bill will “break international law”.

The plans have sparked a major Tory rebellion and calls from former prime ministers Tony Blair and Sir John Major for MPs to oppose the legislation in votes this week because they imperil the peace process in Northern Ireland and Brexit negotiations on a trade deal with the EU.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Buckland suggested the UK would only be breaking the law if it actually uses the powers after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.” data-reactid=”13″>Buckland suggested the UK would only be breaking the law if it actually uses the powers after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He said he did not think that would happen because the government will strike a deal in the joint committee on trade in Northern Ireland, which is treated differently from the rest of the UK and will have to follow some EU trade rules to maintain an invisible border with the Republic of Ireland under the terms of the WA.” data-reactid=”14″>He said he did not think that would happen because the government will strike a deal in the joint committee on trade in Northern Ireland, which is treated differently from the rest of the UK and will have to follow some EU trade rules to maintain an invisible border with the Republic of Ireland under the terms of the WA.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Buckland told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “If I see the rule of law being broken in a way that I find unacceptable then of course I will go.” data-reactid=”15″>Buckland told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “If I see the rule of law being broken in a way that I find unacceptable then of course I will go.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“We are not at that stage.”” data-reactid=”16″>“We are not at that stage.”

Asked if he would quit at the moment the UK does invoke the powers and breaks international law, Buckland said: “I don’t believe we are going to get to that point.

“That is why I shall be working very hard to ensure that we don’t.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Earlier, he insisted the Bill was in line with “the most honourable traditions of the British state”.” data-reactid=”21″>Earlier, he insisted the Bill was in line with “the most honourable traditions of the British state”.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The justice secretary said the idea was simply “to alert everyone to a possibility of a problem, to actually legislate to prepare ourselves domestically for that”.” data-reactid=”22″>The justice secretary said the idea was simply “to alert everyone to a possibility of a problem, to actually legislate to prepare ourselves domestically for that”.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “But, to make the point, we’re not at that stage yet and we don’t have to be if all parties come together and work with a will to get these provisions agreed then we won’t need these clauses at all.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”23″>He told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “But, to make the point, we’re not at that stage yet and we don’t have to be if all parties come together and work with a will to get these provisions agreed then we won’t need these clauses at all. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“That’s the government’s sincere wish, we’re 100% committed to these negotiations, we’re going to press on with them until the end.”” data-reactid=”24″>“That’s the government’s sincere wish, we’re 100% committed to these negotiations, we’re going to press on with them until the end.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="On the Bill, he added: “This isn’t something we do lightly, this isn’t something that we actually want to use, this is something that a responsible government does in order to prepare for the worst.” data-reactid=”25″>On the Bill, he added: “This isn’t something we do lightly, this isn’t something that we actually want to use, this is something that a responsible government does in order to prepare for the worst.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“But can I reiterate our steely determination to get a deal.”” data-reactid=”26″>“But can I reiterate our steely determination to get a deal.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.” data-reactid=”27″>This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.” data-reactid=”28″>This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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