United Kingdom Internal Market Bill — New Clause 1 — Requirement for Public Officials to Respect Domestic and International Law and Act in Good Faith — 29 Sep 2020 at 18:00
The majority of MPs voted not to require those exercising public functions in relation to the implementation of the UK's withdrawal from the EU to respect domestic and international law, and not to require them to act in good faith.
The majority of MPs voted to require ministers, including ministers of devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and others exercising public functions in relation to the implementation of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union to respect the rule of law, comply with the United Kingdom's obligations under international treaties and to allow for the possibility of judicial reviews. The majority of MPs voted to require such public officials to act in good faith, to communicate and consult and to comply with the requirements of the Human Rights Act and The Belfast Agreement. The majority of MPs also voted in favour of unilateral action to protect the interests of the United Kingdom in response to the application of the protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, so long as that was carried out with the least disturbance to the functioning of the protocol and only if strictly necessary.
The proposed new clause rejected in this vote was titled: Withdrawal Agreement and Rule of Law Duty and stated:
- (1) An appropriate authority exercising any function to which this Part (Northern Ireland Protocol) applies must—
- (a) respect the rule of law;
- (b) allow for the possibility of judicial review of an enactment, decision, act or omission by the appropriate authority;
- (c) use the provisions of Article 16 of the Protocol to protect the interests of the United Kingdom.
- (2) An appropriate authority exercising any function to which this Part applies must comply with the obligations of the United Kingdom under international law.
- (3) An appropriate authority exercising any function to which this Part applies must comply with—
- (a) the requirement under Article 5 (Good faith) of the Withdrawal Agreement for the EU and the United Kingdom to assist each other in full mutual respect and good faith to carry out the tasks which flow from the Agreement;
- (b) the requirement under Article 167 (Consultations and communications within the Joint Committee) for the EU and the United Kingdom to endeavour to resolve any dispute regarding the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Agreement by entering into consultations in the Joint Committee in good faith, with the aim of reaching a mutually agreed solution;
- (c) the requirement under Article 184 (Negotiations on the future relationship) of the Withdrawal Agreement for the EU and the United Kingdom to use their best endeavours, in good faith and in full respect of their respective legal orders, to take the necessary steps to negotiate expeditiously the agreements governing their future relationship referred to in the Political Declaration of 17 October 2019 and to conduct the relevant procedures for the ratification or conclusion of those agreements, with a view to ensuring that those agreements apply, to the extent possible, as from the end of the transition period;
- (d) the requirements of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement of 10 April 1998 between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland and the other participants in the multi-party negotiations, which is annexed to the British-Irish Agreement of the same date.
- (4) An appropriate authority exercising any function to which this Part applies must comply with the Human Rights Act 1998.
The rejected new clause was accompanied by the following statement from its proposer:
- This new clause is intended to replace Clauses 42, 43 and 45 of the Bill, to require Ministers to respect the rule of law and uphold the independence of the courts and the practice of judicial review, and to require UK Ministers to implement the Withdrawal Agreement.
-  Parliament's webpage on the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, Parliament.uk website
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.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||342 (+2 tell)||1||0||94.8%|
|Lab||0||189 (+2 tell)||0||95.0%|
|Simon Hoare||North Dorset||Con (front bench)||aye|