United Kingdom Internal Market Bill — Clause 40 — Northern Ireland — Avoiding a Hard Border — Compliance with Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and Withdrawal Agreement — 21 Sep 2020 at 22:30

The majority of MPs voted against making avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland a "paramount duty" for those implementing new arrangements following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, and against a duty to ensure consistency of new arrangements with the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the United Kingdom - European Union Withdrawal Agreement and its Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

MPs were considering the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill[1][2].

The amendment rejected in this vote was:

  • Amendment 41, page 31, line 16, at end insert—
  • ‘(1A) When exercising any functions covered by this Part, any appropriate authority has a paramount duty—
  • (a) to act without prejudice to all international and domestic law, including the Withdrawal Agreement;
  • (b) to address the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland;
  • (c) to maintain the necessary conditions for continued North-South cooperation;
  • (d) to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland;
  • (e) to protect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions.”

The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following explanatory statement from its proposer:

  • This amendment is intended to provide a safeguard so that any actions with respect to Part 5 of the Bill must be consistent with relevant existing international and domestic law commitments, including the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement and its Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

Had it not been rejected the amendment would have added to Clause 40[3] of the Bill which set out duties on UK ministers, ministers of devolved administrations and other public officials to

  • have special regard to the following matters when exercising any function for a relevant purpose—
  • (a) the need to maintain Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market;
  • (b)the need to respect Northern Ireland’s place as part of the customs territory of the United Kingdom; and
  • (c)the need to facilitate the free flow of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the aim of—
  • (i)streamlining trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and
  • (ii)maintaining and strengthening the integrity and smooth operation of the internal market in the United Kingdom.


Debate in Parliament |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con336 (+2 tell) 0092.9%
DUP8 00100.0%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent1 10100.0%
Lab0 190094.1%
LDem0 9 (+2 tell)0100.0%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
SNP0 480100.0%
Total:345 255094.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

no rebellions

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