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The Internal Market Bill Breaks International Law And Lays The Ground To Break More Law

13th September 2020

Raphael Hogarth writing in the Institute for Government explains the legal Issues position.

Sir Jonathan Jones, the permanent secretary of the Government Legal Department, is reported to have resigned over plans to undermine the Withdrawal Agreement. This points to a wider struggle about what the rule of law means for the UK, argues Raphael Hogarth .

Sir Jonathan Jones has resigned as the Treasury solicitor and permanent secretary to the Government Legal Department, reportedly after a dispute with Downing Street over plans to undermine the Withdrawal Agreement. The announcement of his departure, which will reportedly take effect at the end of his term in April next year, follows reports that the Internal Market Bill, due to be published on Wednesday, will give government powers to override that treaty, effectively repealing legislation that wrote it into domestic law. Doing so could risk placing the UK in breach of its international legal obligations.

Sir Jonathan is by no means the first senior official to resign after clashes with ministers in this government. His resignation is nevertheless extraordinary.

If he considered that he could not, in good conscience, continue to advise and act for the government, then ministers - from the law officers, to the lord chancellor, to the prime minister himself - should consider carefully whether their plans are truly consistent with their commitment to, and duties to uphold, the rule of law.

Read the full article HERE