Two vital months wasted as ministers retreat from international lawbreaking – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news that the government will withdraw plans to breach international law over Brexit. The UK and EU have reached agreement on how rules in the Brexit divorce deal relating to Northern Ireland's borders will work in practice. Government plans to override provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement had threatened to jeopardise ongoing post-Brexit trade talks.

Mr Carmichael said:

“I am glad that the Government has belatedly seen sense and retreated from its attack on international law. The frustration, however, is that it was clear from the start that this behaviour was entirely counterproductive and yet we have seen two months of stalled EU negotiations as a consequence. Whether or not you care what the EU thinks, the reckless rejection of diplomatic norms has alarmed friends around the world and given a ready excuse for other countries seeking to break their promises.

“Even with these issues belatedly resolved it will be too late to prevent significant disruption as we head towards January and farmers, crofters and fishermen stand to be some of the worst affected. The Government must move quickly to repair the damage done by the Internal Market Bill and get a functional trade deal in place. There is no more time to waste.”

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