The controversial law on the internal market, which the British Government intends to approve contrary to what was agreed with the European Union in the exit agreement, easily passed its first parliamentary test on Monday, although it will still face new obstacles.
With the support of 340 deputies and the rejection of 263, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserted the vast absolute majority that he has in the House of Commons (low), but failed to stop the growing chorus of voices within his own party who denounces that the bill violates international law.
The real test for the law will come next week, when the amendments to the provisions on Northern Ireland, the origin of the violation of what has been agreed with the EU, are scheduled to be voted on.
The Chamber also eHe dropped an amendment from the Labor opposition to the entire text, by 349-213.
Despite the impression that the figures offer, Johnson sees every day how the rejection of the law with which he wants to control trade flows between Northern Ireland and Great Britain grows in his own ranks, with prominent “Tories” adding to the dissent .
If in recent days it was his predecessors in Downing Street Theresa May and John Major who showed their rejection of Johnson’s plan, this Monday Conservative Prime Minister David joined Cameron, who called the referendum on Brexit, and his own economy minister until February Sayid Javid.
In the debate prior to the vote, Johnson intervened to defend the text with the argument that it is “insurance” to prevent Northern Ireland from being commercially separated from the rest of the country in case London and Brussels fail to agree on their future relationship before the December 31 deadline.
In the event that a pact is finally reached, “the powers that the law grants to the Executive would never be invoked,” said the head of government, who still sees consensus as possible.
He accused the European Union of using the protocol for Northern Ireland that was agreed last year as a negotiating letter to add pressure on the UK in the current negotiations of the future relationship.
Without an additional “safeguard”, he argued, Brussels could eventually block trade between that British region and the rest of the UK in the event of an abrupt Brexit at the end of this year.
To try to avoid a revolt in his own ranks, Johnson promised to consult Parliament in the future before exercising the rights that the Internal Market law will offer him.
That is precisely the goal of an amendment tabled by conservative Bob Neill, which threatens to garner some support among the “Tories” when it is voted on next week.