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DOWNING STREET doubled down on its defence of the contentious Internal Market Bill today after a special envoy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson quit in protest.
The Bill, which had amendments tabled by both sides of the house, had its second reading in the Commons today after the Star went to print.
Mr Johnson said it is “critical” that the Bill, which would override parts of the EU Withdrawal Agreement (WA) relating to Northern Ireland, is passed.
Tory MP Rehman Chishti quit in protest as his special envoy on freedom of religion and belief. Former chancellor Sajid Javid was also among the Tory MPs who is set to vote against it.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged Mr Johnson to not “break a treaty.” But Mr Johnson’s spokesman said the Bill would “create a legal safety net” that would “protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market.”
Northern Ireland is currently supposed to adhere to some EU regulations after the transition period ends on December 31, in a bid to stop a “hard border” with the Republic.
The Bill would scrap requirements for new customs arrangements in the Six Counties and would end the WA’s legitimacy in areas such as state aid.
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