The law isn't optional : Prime Minister playing fast and loose with rule of law endangers British jobs and badly needed trade deals.

September 12, 2020 10:36 AM

Cllr Robin AshbySenior leaders from Britain's two biggest trading blocs, the EU and USA, have warned that Britain is putting trade deals at risk if it can't be trusted to uphold international law.

The European Commission has confirmed that, if adopted as it stands, the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill would "put at risk the ongoing future relationship negotiations".

Robin Ashby, who speaks for Newcastle Liberal Democrats councillors on business matters, said:

"No one can really be surprised that the measures the UK Government have brought forward have put the likelihood of badly needed trade deals in jeopardy. The much-trumpeted one with Japan is tiny in comparison - and is really just a copy of the deal Japan has struck with the EU anyway.

"This proposal undermines trust and the UK's standing on the world stage. The Government must now act swiftly to erase anything that violates international law or that could undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

"For the sake of the future of our country the Government must stop playing fast and loose with the rule of law."

Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP has responded angrily to the Lord Chancellor's comments on The Andrew Marr Show that he would resign "If I see the rule of law being broken in a way that I find unacceptable", :

"As Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland swore an oath to respect the rule of law. It is utterly appalling to see him shrug his shoulders like this when the Conservative Government is preparing to break it. It seems that under Boris Johnson, accepting the rule of law has become optional.

"For the sake of the future of our country, Ministers must stop playing fast and loose with the rule of law. Far from protecting the national interest, Boris Johnson's Government seem content to see the UK's international reputation trashed.

"The Liberal Democrats will always fight to protect the rule of law here and abroad, and maintain the UK's proud record. We unequivocally condemn the reckless approach of this Government."