The UK Internal Market Bill will protect the integrity of the United Kingdom and ensure we can always preserve peace in Northern Ireland
The UK’s internal market has functioned seamlessly for centuries. As the transition period ends, we will ensure the most successful union of nations in the world continues to thrive. We are delivering on our manifesto commitment to ensure unfettered trade across the United Kingdom. The UK Internal Market Bill will mean more powers for all parts of the UK and ensure businesses can continue to trade across our country as they do now, avoiding new burdens and barriers in order to protect jobs and support our recovery from coronavirus.
It will ensure we can continue to cooperate across the UK to overcome coronavirus together, while preserving the frictionless trade which is essential to our economic recovery. The Bill also puts in place reasonable steps to create a safety net that ensures the Government is always able to deliver on its commitments to the people of Northern Ireland. This delivers on our manifesto commitment to ensure that NI businesses can continue to enjoy unfettered access to the rest of the UK.
Nearly 70% of Blackpool residents voted to leave the EU. I'm happy to say that we have reclaimed our sovereignty and need to make sure that the EU, and any other international body, won't be able to control our internal trade and customs arrangements in the future. To threaten trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a threat that this Government stands opposed.
Furthermore, when the EU Withdrawal Agreement was passed, it included specific areas that needed clarification. One of the most significant areas was how people, goods and services will move freely and safely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and the UK. It was agreed upon that all parties must work towards finding a solution to the movement of people, goods, and services – this has remained a priority throughout negotiations. The Transition Period is drawing to a close, especially when you consider that all agreements need ratifying.
However, the EU is making it difficult to finalise this part of the agreement. For example, it is threatening to impose tariffs on the movement of goods between NI and the UK - and demanding concessions (e.g. access to our fishing waters) before they will proceed. So, we need to protect our sovereignty and section 45 of the UK Internal Market Bill does exactly that. It allows us to set aside parts of the Withdrawal Agreement if the EU try to place undue pressure on the UK and Northern Ireland.
The UK Parliament is the legislative making body for our sovereign nation. If Parliament chooses to make a law which supersedes previous legislation it can do so. This is the process through which laws are changed. By the logic of some people who claim that the government is ‘breaking the law’, Parliament would never be able to make new laws as they would by their inherent definition break and contradict the existing law. It is thus ridiculous to suggest that the UK Internal Market Bill somehow breaks UK law. As we are a sovereign nation, we can amend international treaties that we have signed if we so chose - it’s what independent states do.
This Bill is a safety net to protect our economy, businesses, and citizens from external powers. This is why the Prime Minister is right to act in the protection of our ability to trade with Northern Ireland, and this is why I voted to support of the UK Internal Market Bill.