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Boris Johnson has received a lot of criticism after launching his controversial plans to override key elements of the withdrawal agreement. At a stormy meeting in London on Thursday, the Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove insisted the Government “could not and would not” drop measures in legislation tabled earlier this week. But Sky News presenter Adam Boulton argued the bill breaches the current withdrawal agreement.
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Speaking on Sky News, Mr Swayne said: “This bill no more compromises our international obligations.”
Mr Boulton interjected: “Voted on by this Parliament, recommended by the Prime Minister a few months ago but you don’t think that should stand?”
The New Forest MP continued: “I’m not saying that at all.
“I’m saying that the bill doesn’t alter that obligation.”
Mr Boulton noted: “Other parties clearly say the Government proposals are breaching the agreement they reached with the UK.
“You can’t dispute that.”
Mr Swayne said: “I do dispute it, let me finish!
“The bill gives the Government power to alter those obligations subsequently.
“The bill itself doesn’t do that. It gives the Government powers in certain circumstances to do that.
“The fact is that we are seeking to avoid those circumstances, the intention is to never implement the proposals in this bill.”
It comes the European Commission has said it will consider what action to take if the UK fails to withdraw legislation overriding elements of the Brexit withdrawal agreement by the end of the month.
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Speaking at the daily commission briefing in Brussels, chief spokesman Eric Mamer said it would take a “step by step” approach in the dispute.
“We have set a deadline for the UK. We are going to take this step by step. We are going to wait for the reaction of the United Kingdom by that deadline,” he said.
“We will consider next steps once we have reached that particular bridge.”
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said on Thursday that the Government was not prepared to withdraw the provisions in the Internal Market Bill as the EU is demanding.
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