Johnson agrees compromise with rebel MPs on controversial internal market bill

Boris Johnson in the house of commons
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the Brexit debate on The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill in the House of Commons in London, Friday Dec. 20, 2019. British lawmakers approved in principle Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill, clearing the way for the U.K. to leave the European Union next month. The House of Commons voted 358-234 on Friday for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. (House of Commons via AP)

The UK government has agreed to a compromise with Tory rebels over the controversial UK Internal Market Bill giving MPs a vote before using powers which would break international law, a joint statement from Downing Street and Conservative MPs Sir Bob Neill and Damian Green said.

The statement, issued on behalf of Downing Street and Conservative MPs Sir Bob Neill and Damian Green said: “Following constructive talks over the last few days, the Government has agreed to table an amendment for Committee Stage.

“This amendment will require the House of Commons to vote for a motion before a minister can use the ‘notwithstanding’ powers contained in the U.K. Internal Market Bill.

“The Internal Market Bill was designed to give MPs and Peers a vote on the use of these powers via statutory instrument. But following talks, it is agreed that the Parliamentary procedure suggested by some colleagues provides a clearer, more explicit democratic mandate for the use of these powers, and also provides more legal certainty.

“The Government will table another amendment which sets clear limits on the scope and timeliness of judicial review into the exercise of these powers. This will provide people and businesses with the certainty that they need.

“We welcome the way the Parliamentary Party has come together on these issue. There is near-unanimous agreement that the Government must be able to use these powers as a final resort, that there must be legal certainty, and that no further amendments are required on these powers.”

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