UK Minister for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis has admitted that the law London is studying amending the European Union’s Withdrawal Agreement “would be in violation of international law” in a debate that has caused divisions even within the country the Conservative Party.
London finalizes new single market legislation that would leave the abolition of physical checks on the UK to Northern Ireland route in the air. This condition is included in the exit agreement to avoid returning to a physical border in Ulster.
Downing Street claims it will only be “minor clarifications in very specific areas” pending the details of the draft on Wednesday. According to Lewis, who appeared before the House of Commons, the government only intends to create a “safety net” if negotiations between London and Brussels fail to agree on future relations by January 1, 2021.
When asked whether these changes would constitute a breach of the UK’s international obligations, the Minister replied “yes”. “It violates international law in very specific and limited ways,” he argued, according to the BBC.