LONDON- Britain will set out new details of its blueprint for life outside the European Union, publishing legislation a government minister acknowledged would break international law in a “limited way” and which could sour trade talks.
After leaving the EU in January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pushed on with plans for the end of a status quo period in December, and hoped a bill on Britain’s internal market would set in stone the transfer of powers from Brussels.
But with talks with the EU all but stalled over fisheries and state aid, a statement from his Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis that the new bill would “break international law in a very specific and limited way” may only worsen matters.
The EU has warned Britain that if it reneges on the divorce deal there would be no agreement. London has repeatedly said it will respect the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland protocol, saying its bill contained only “clarifications”.
Britain and the EU say they have until October to agree a free trade deal, which would ease the worries of some companies who fear disruption at the borders and of supply chains at a time when many are struggling with the coronavirus crisis.
In a statement, the government hailed its Internal Market Bill as a way of empowering Britain and ending the reign of “unelected EU bodies”.