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United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: Rule of Law

Volume 680: debated on Thursday 24 September 2020

What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the implications of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill for her role in promoting the rule of law. (906455)

I speak regularly to my Cabinet colleagues on various matters relating to Government business. In tabling the UKIM Bill, the Government are clear that we are acting in full accordance with UK law and the UK’s constitutional norms.

Our system of international law has been over 400 years in the making. How would the UK feel if other countries around the world were routinely putting “notwithstanding” clauses into their domestic legislation?

The reality and challenges of being a sovereign nation state are that there are times when tensions and conflicts arise between domestic legislatures and international obligations. There are countless examples of where states with democratically elected Governments, many of whom we held in high regard and including many with whom we deal and have agreements, have resolved those tensions through legislation to depart from, derogate from or even break international law. Of course, two wrongs do not make a right, but that is an important context that sets a perspective for the action this Government are proposing. We are a member of the international rules-based system, and I know our enviable reputation will hold us in good stead.