European Union to delay euro clearing decision due to Brexit divorce threat


British lawmakers on Monday backed a new bill that would override parts of the Brexit treaty struck with the European Union previous year, despite outrage in Brussels and alarm at home over such an overt breach of worldwide law.

Mr Cox said it would be "unconscionable" to override the Brexit divorce deal, adding how there's "no doubt" the "unpalatable" implications of the Withdrawal Agreement were known when the prime minister signed it, a time when Mr Cox was the chief law officer. "They are an insurance policy".

A number of politicians from Johnson's governing Conservative party have threatened to oppose the bill.

The EU has ramped up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, which would be chaotic for business, markets and almost $1 trillion (780.03 billion pounds) in annual trade. Pressing on risks jeopardizing efforts to secure a trade deal with the bloc before the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

Ed Milliband, business spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, accused Johnson of "trashing the reputation of this country and trashing the reputation of his office".

Johnson, who has a majority of 80 in the lower house of parliament, faces a growing revolt from some of his own lawmakers.

Europe's lawmakers are threatening to block any trade deal with the United Kingdom unless the latter withdraws its plans to override elements of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and to breach global law in a "very specific and limited way".

"No British minister should solemnly undertake to observe treaty obligations with his fingers crossed behind his back", said Cox, who was sacked by Johnson in February. "This is the wrong thing to do, it's not necessary and it's deeply damaging for the country".

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Conservative MP Rehman Chishti quit as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief on Monday morning amid mounting fury at the UK Internal Market Bill.

Johnson claimed that in the event of no deal between Britain and Brussels, the European Union had threatened to introduce an instant and automatic prohibition of animal products from Britain's mainland to Northern Ireland. Both sides accepted the compromise to protect the open border, which helps underpin the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Johnson says the UK Internal Market Bill will ensure "unfettered access" for trade after that within the UK's four nations - Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Responding to a legislator who said the European Union was seeking to use Northern Ireland as a stick with which to beat Britain, Johnson said: "The intention of this bill is clearly to stop any such use of the stick against this country".

The EU document, which was seen by Reuters and is out for consultation among EU states since Monday, said access would start on January 1, 2021 and expire on June 30, 2022.

Former leaders Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Theresa May have all strongly condemned the move. On Monday a third, David Cameron, said he had "misgivings". That declaration of victory was key to Johnson's successful December 2019 election campaign.

The Taoiseach also warned Boris Johnson against "playing politics" during the Brexit negotiations.