Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, is favoring a bill to break the Brexit agreement he himself negotiated and presented as the center of his electoral program in the last elections. He had been floating around the project for years but had not materialized until Monday, causing a harsh response from Brussels.
Boris Johnson’s Project
As reported by The Guardian, the text of the law published Monday would allow Boris Johnson’s government to ignore or change at will, within British law, most of the content of the Northern Ireland Protocol —the section of the agreement on this province— leaving standing only three items.
The government gives itself the power to delete the articles it does not like from the agreement negotiated with Brussels, and change them into others that it thinks are better.
Among the specific articles included in the text, the UK could eliminate customs controls designed to prevent products that do not comply with European legislation from entering Ireland, and replace them with a “two regulations” system.
It would remove the control of the Court of Justice of the EU and the ban on state aid to Northern Irish firms.
To justify this move, the text alleges “a state of necessity,” in which, “The Government recognizes that the need can only be invoked in an exceptional way to legally justify the breach of international obligations. This is a genuinely exceptional situation.”
In Boris Johnson’s opinion, the situation and its causes will persist in the medium to long term and the problems were not inherent in the text of the protocol, with which Johnson alleges that he could not have foreseen the rejection by the unionist side when he signed it.
The reaction of the jurists was unanimous. Lawyer Tim O’Connor explained that some of the clauses “would be too much even for Henry VIII.”
Fellow jurist and constitutional expert David Allen Green considered that the text “does not reflect a legal position of the Government, but rather the lack of one.”
He adds that Downing Street’s solicitor general stalled the publication of the bill for a week because of misgivings.
Just before presenting the text, the absolute majority of members of the Parliament of Northern Ireland sent Johnson a letter recalling that the supporters of the Protocol obtained a clear victory in the elections last May, so the rupture of the agreement goes against the democratic legitimacy.