Zöe Franklin calls out local Conservative MP and her Government for failure to stand by her election commitment to EU Withdrawal Bill and instead back bill that breaks international law

September 15, 2020 12:47 PM

Scales of justiceZöe Franklin calls out local Conservative MP and her Government for failure to stand by her election commitment to EU Withdrawal Bill and instead back a bill that breaks international law

Yesterday in the House of Commons, discussion began on what is probably the most controversial piece of legislation since the 2019 General Election - it has even managed the unusual feat of uniting ex-Prime Ministers from across the political spectrum in speaking out against it!

I am shocked and appalled by the way that Government ministers and MPs have sought to justify this behaviour by minimising it, saying that it's OK for the Government to break the law in a "limited and specific way".

If passed the legislation in question - the Internal Market Bill - will see the UK Government, led by Boris Johnson, run roughshod over convention and international law leaving the UK's global standing in tatters. It puts at risk the Good Friday Agreement that secured peace in North Ireland after hundreds of years; the current trade negotiations with our closest neighbours - the EU; and puts at risk future trade deals with other nations include the US, deals that are essential as we leave the EU. In fact, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has warned that Britain will be unable to secure a trade deal with the US if it does anything to undermine the treaty that brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of violence.

The Conservatives have long prided themselves on being the party of law and order. However once again we see them willing to ignore the law to suit themselves. First, it was the prorogation of Parliament, now breaking international trade treaties - what next? Frankly, how can they expect any other country to act in good faith and within the law if they see Britain brushing it aside. Similarly, how many members of the public will look at the Conservative's example and think twice about whether to comply with new regulations and guidance relating to coronavirus?

I have therefore written to our local MP, Angela Richardson, setting out my concerns relating to the Internal Market Bill and asked her the following questions:

  1. How can this be the case when you are supporting legislation that will permanently damage our international reputation?
  2. How can we hold other states to account for flouting international law when we have flouted it too and in such a serious negotiation?
  3. How do we begin to make meaningful trade deals with other countries when they cannot trust us?
  4. How can you expect the electorate to feel safe in these uncertain times when they cannot trust the government or their MPs to deliver on their promises?
  5. How do you expect people to obey the rules your Government is making around coronavirus when the Government itself sees fit to break the law on an international treaty (the so-called 'oven-ready deal') when it suits them?

Ms Richardson has already stated her support for the bill on Twitter for the bill on Twitter, but I sincerely hope that she will respond promptly to my queries as I know that these and similar questions are being raised by concerned residents across Guildford, Cranleigh and our Villages.

15th September 2020