Only the Lords can now save us

From the collapse in the rule of law achieved by the Conservative’s United Kingdom Internal Market Bill

The Lords are our last hope.

Very simply, relevant clauses “have effect notwithstanding any relevant international or domestic law with which they may be incompatible or inconsistent”. Whilst there is doubt I suggest, whether this in itself is legal, as Parliament is supreme it could be (for further insight see this detailed piece here) and internationally it is clearly problematic because Parliament has agreed one thing and now proposes to suggest they have agreed quite another.

It may well be that the EU might wish – never mind legal action – to sanction the UK for failing to comply with international law. Trade sanctions are certainly a possibility – financial sanctions are another – though this last might be more difficult.

The EU should and I suggest will, continue to negotiate even if it seems mostly in vain. They need to be expansive in their negotiations – and dismissive of the UK government’s ‘lack of understanding’ of the rule of law. Which is decidedly ironic when it was a British concept.

I suggest too, that, in any case, this makes it certain that – regardless of the House of Lords – come the New Year, in the absence of an EU trade agreement, customs arrangements will be enforced to the letter. With perhaps a change of government being the only realistic solution for a softening of the EU line.

The government will unsurprisingly be regarded henceforth as suspect and untrustworthy in all that they do by our ‘ex’ EU compatriots.

Our oven-ready Brexit government has, at one stroke, made certain that the UK will be a pariah and completely distrusted in Europe and further afield.

Please stock up on preserved food and let us hope that energy supplies are sufficient to cook it.

If you have a camping stove I’d be inclined to ensure that it is, as the Brexit deal was supposed to be, oven-ready.


  1. davy green -

    There are reports-only reports-that the EU hinted that they could block food supples from Tesco asda etc to Northern Ireland from Britain if no trade deal in place.If this is in any way true then this would be an act of pure vindictiveness and the prospect of emergency airlifts of food into part of the United Kingdom would totally be justified.In view of Ireland’s past history of food shortages the silence of The Irish Government in acquiescencing to this is beyond belief.This matter needs to be cleared up-Has the EU threatened to block Food Supples to Northern Ireland from January 1st 2021 to force UK to accept a deal on UK terms

    1. Peter May -

      Without a trade agreement food supplies to the whole of the UK, not just Northern Ireland will be strangled.
      The EU is in any case not in a position to suspend food supplies to Northern Ireland as most will come from the rUK.

      1. Andrew -

        I’ve not heard these rumored reports that the EU threatened to block food exports from GB to NI. Is there a good source for that contention?

        As I understand it, with Eire in the EU single market, and no barrier to trade between Eire and NI, then, if no further agreement was reached, there would be a need for some formalities (such as customs declarations) for goods moving from GB to NI – just as there will be a need for such formalities for exports of goods from England to France or to the Netherlands, or from Wales to Eire. (Incidentally, our exporters are going to have a shock on 1 January – French, Dutch, German, etc, customs officials are not known for their pragmatic approach if the paperwork is not 100% correct).

        More to the point *we already agreed to that* as the default position in the withdrawal agreement in the absence of further agreement. It was not added at the last moment and rushed through; it is not ambiguous or unclear or a surprise. It was insisted upon by the EU, we acquiesced to it, and now we are seeking to breach that agreement. That is the problem – can anyone ever believe what we say again?

        If there is a trade barrier between England and France, but no trade barrier between NI and Eire, or between Eire and France, then there must be a trade barrier between England and NI. Alternatively, if there is no trade barrier between England and NI, or between Eire and France, then there must be a trade barrier between NI and Eire. Ireland is not leaving the EU, and the EU can’t have goods getting around the controls between England and France by leaking from England to NI to Eire to France.

        England has chosen to erect a trade barrier between itself and the EU, so the only question is: where is that barrier to be imposed?

  2. Graham -

    I see the Torygraph has published Johnson’s farrago of lies this morning. Even Simon Heffer (a right winger) has railed against Johnson in the New Statesman. “The Law Officers..appear to have simply shrugged their shoulders at this proposal flagrantly to breach international law”. Well, you don’t “place” men and women in these positions if they are going to cause trouble.

    Are there any decent tories in parliament or is that a contradiction in terms?

    That we may have to rely on the second largest unelected undemocratic legislative chamber in the world, full of has-beens, place-people, Bishops!!, hereditary peers and so on is the final affront and irony. As the Proclaimers might have sung: democracy no more.

    1. Peter May -

      I think Johnson threw out the last few of the decent Tories!
      Agree about the Lords too…

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