Brexit FURY: Merkel ally compares UK to North Korea in attack on Boris Johnson’s new Bill

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The Internal Market Bill would override the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. The Government has warned members of the House of Lords not to block the new Bill.

Boris Johnson’s Bill passed a key hurdle on Monday after winning a majority vote in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister’s huge majority helped the Bill pass but many Conservative MPs abstained and two voted against the legislation.

However, the EU has criticised Mr Johnson’s Bill, as one German politician branded the UK as a North Korean despot.

Detlef Seif, ally of chancellor Angela Merkel, said he thought the UK was “a state that upheld the rule of law and with which one could negotiate”.

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He added: “But with this behaviour, Britain is joining the ranks of despots and regimes like those in Russia, Turkey, China and North Korea.

“I don’t think Britain wants to be included in that group, but it has earned that classification.”

Former chancellor Lord Lamont said the legislation will not go through the House of Lords without amendments.

While the former Conservative Party leader, Lord Howard, asked: “How can we reproach Russia or China or Iran when their conduct falls below internationally accepted standards, when we are showing such scant regard for our treaty obligations?”

But the Prime Minister’s spokesman said he “expects the Lords to abide by the Salisbury convention”.

The rule states that the House of Lords should not block something included in the governing party’s manifesto.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “Guaranteeing the full economic benefit of leaving the EU to all parts of the UK and ensuring Northern Ireland’s businesses and producers enjoy unfettered access to the rest of the UK were clear Conservative manifesto commitments which this legislation delivers.”

Mr Johnson said the Bill was “crucial” to ensuring smooth trade through the four UK nations.

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But the Internal Market Bill would breach some aspects of the withdrawal agreement Mr Johnson signed with Brussels.

MPs backed the Internal Market Bill by 340 votes to 263 on Monday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the Bill put the “safeguards and mechanisms in place to ensure that we stay true to the people of Northern Ireland”.

Sir Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet in Kent, told the BBC he had voted against the Bill as a “matter of principle” to maintain international law.

He added: “I think that this is damaging our international reputation for honest and straight-dealing at a time when we are about to embark on a series of trade negotiations.

“I took a view that you fight this tooth and nail at every step.”

The Internal Market Bill aims to allow goods and services to flow freely across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after the Brexit transition period is over.

But it also gives the Government power to change some parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Mr Johnson signed the legally-binding agreement earlier this year which set out the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU.

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