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Labour Brexiteer Kate Hoey has launched a scathing attack on MPs who have criticised Boris Johnson’s Internal Market Bill. The Brexit plan has caused huge controversy over its impact on talks with the EU and on international treaties. Ms Hoey has claimed MPs who choose to vote against it in the House of Commons tonight are not fighting for an independent UK.
Speaking to talkRADIO, Ms Hoey said: “I think it’s the same old people coming out with the same old views on Brexit just doing anything to try and criticise the Government on this issue.
“It all comes down to Northern Ireland and the peace process and the border.
“I don’t think the Good Friday Agreement has anything to do with this but if you do accept that somehow it’s going to threaten the peace process by having a border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland then that’s breaking the agreement.
“Why is not breaking it to have a border down the Irish Sea?
“It seems to me that any MP tonight who actually votes against this Bill is really saying quite straightforwardly that they do not want Northern Ireland, that they don’t care about it being in the union and they would prefer to put their faith in the European Union and all the maverick people who are in there.
“I think it’s quite shocking.
“Tonight will really test MPs as to whether they are genuinely pro the UK or whether they simply want to be part of some kind of unelected, federal state of the European Union because that’s what they’re really saying tonight if they vote against this Bill.”
Downing Street confirmed that Mr Johnson will open the debate on the Internal Market Bill in the House of Commons on Monday, taking the place of Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
Mr Johnson will make the case to MPs that it is “critical” that the legislation, which the Government has said would breach international law, is in place by the end of the year in order to act as a “safety net” if no trade deal is agreed with Brussels before the conclusion of the Brexit transition period.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, confirming Mr Johnson’s appearance at the Despatch Box, told reporters: “The Bill will protect seamless trade and jobs in all four corners of the United Kingdom following the end of the transition period.
“It will also provide a vital legal safety net, it removes any ambiguity should an agreement not be reached at the Joint Committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“It protects the integrity of the UK internal market, it ensures ministers can always deliver on their obligations to Northern Ireland and protects the gains from the peace process.
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“It is therefore critical that we pass this legislation before the end of the year.”
Number 10 said the Prime Minister and UK chief negotiator Lord Frost had “significant concern” about the approach taken by the European Union during the trade talks, claiming Brussels had confirmed last week that a blockade of food goods travelling from Britain to Northern Ireland was a possibility.
But the Prime Minister’s spokesman, when asked how the Bill would prevent a blockade, did not provide concrete examples, adding only that “good faith” was expected to be “shown by both sides in resolving outstanding matters”.
The Conservative Party leader has seen his Bill proposal criticised by all five living former prime ministers, with David Cameron making it a full set when he voiced his fears on Monday.
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