The impending election forces Tory MPs to swallow thorny Brexit measures
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Good morning. The UK government is introducing a new bill on the Northern Ireland protocol today, setting out what could be months away with the EU, the House of Commons and their own MPs. I learn all of that in today’s newsletter. Share your thoughts with me at the email address below.
Inside Politics edited by Georgina Quach. Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkb and please send rumors, thoughts and feedback to email@example.com.
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New proposed government legislation allowing the UK to bypass parts of the Northern Ireland protocol will be introduced in the House of Commons this afternoon.
Don’t worry, this won’t Another Internal Politics In that I talk about why I think the position of government is only bluff and bluff. Instead, today we’re going to talk about the bill’s prospect of becoming law at all.
In September 2020, Boris Johnson’s government introduced the UK Internal Market bill, which deals with trade between the UK and Northern Ireland. When the bill became law, breaching the UK’s treaty obligations under international law “in a limited and specific way”, as Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis put it, more than 20 Conservative MPs absence without leave. Of course, back then, rebelling against Johnson’s government was a much more difficult prospect. Johnson’s two Downing Street reboots are still to come, and his government is still talked about as if it will dominate politics for a decade.
The rebels would not be as well organized as they are today. The Financial Times’ Westminster Group there is a Tory memo makes a case against the bill: which is not unheard of in Westminster but certainly something that fell out of vogue in the fall of 2020.
However, while this The prime minister is in a weaker position, the prime minister’s position is in a stronger position. Why? Because the passage of the Parliamentary Dissolution and Calling Act means that the right to call an election is now back in the hands of the executive. Johnson could use the threat of an election – at a time when the government is trailing behind in the polls, and last month’s election in Australia and first round last night in France shows that it is not a good time for incumbent governments to stop altogether – to get his MPs to vote on tough measures, an option not available to him in 2022.
So it’s hard to say with any real confidence going to win. Certainly from a brief phone call yesterday, my impression was that there were enough potential insurgents to defeat the government. But the gap between “considering” rebellion and real rebellion can be huge.
The government’s larger immediate problem is in the House of Commons. Peers can, if they choose, vote against the law because it is not included in the government manifesto. (In many ways, the exact opposite happened: Johnson came to the country in 2019 to praise his stunning Brexit deal, not saying his deal was so flawed that it needed three years of major stalemate. treatment and a slight violation of the law to correct.)
Sir Keir Starmer’s Labor Party has been very reluctant to use its power in the House of Commons. This is much to the dismay of the Liberal Democrats, who like Labor have a much stronger position in the upper house than in the House.
But Starmer cares a lot about Northern Ireland. He lived there for a while. He has visited regularly as team leader, including last week, when he spent two days in Dublin and Belfast. Given that no one living in Northern Ireland can vote for him or his party and the votes cast on the issue are so small that they practically do not exist, this may be a rare occasion where leaders Labor religion. willing to cause lasting trouble for the Conservative government in the Lords.
For more information, FT legal commentator, David Allen Green, dissects the Northern Ireland protocol in this videoand our documentary below sheds light on the divisions Northern Irish feel on the ground.
Now try this
The PlayStation 5 remains a coveted object of many gamers thanks to shortages and supply bottlenecks, which Leo Lewis write about in a witty and beautiful way here.
I don’t have much to say here, other than that Leo’s post is very interesting and promoting it is a rare opportunity to brag about the fact that I am one of the lucky few people to hold the hands a PS5. Right now I’m trying to get over it Forbidden Horizon in the West, albeit very slowly. It’s beautiful – and the loading times are amazingly fast.