Tonight, Liberal Democrat peers voted to remove the illegal aspects of the Internal Market Bill, with the Government being defeated by 268 votes and 259 votes on the two respective divisions.
Following the votes, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Dick Newby said:
“The Internal Market Bill reveals just how little regard Boris Johnson and his Government have for the rule of the law – to try and ram through this legislation that breaks our international treaties is a stain on the UK’s reputation.
“This Bill does not provide Northern Ireland with unfettered access to the rest of the UK, nor does it strengthen the union as Ministers are pretending – in fact it does the very opposite. This Bill was never anything more than a political manoeuvre as part of Downing Street’s disastrous negotiating strategy with the EU.
"The Liberal Democrats will always stand up to protect the rule of law and voting to remove these clauses today lies at the very heart of that fight. The Government must now do the right thing and accept the House of Lords’ removal of the illegal aspects within the Internal Market Bill.”
Today was the fifth and final day of Committee Stage of the UK Internal Market Bill in the House of Lords. The amendments debated included the clauses that would allow the UK Government to contravene international law.
Typically, votes in the House of Lords are left until the Report Stage of the Bill, however a cross party agreement saw a decision that votes would happen at Committee Stage instead due to its fundamental importance.
The Government lost both divisions, 165 votes to 433, and 148 votes to 407.