“This really is first-term, first-year undergraduate tosh from the attorney general,” a legal commentator says
The UK government has issued a statement on its legal position on the UK Internal Market Bill—a position that has been criticised by many, according to the Law Society Gazette.
The bill, which was published on Wednesday, was intended to “promote the continued functioning of the internal market in the UK after the conclusion of the transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018,” the government said in its statement. In the process, the proposed legislation would violate international law, particularly in Northern Ireland’s case.
The Law Society of England and Wales opposed the proposed legislation, and said that the rule of law was non-negotiable.
However, the government argued that in implementing the legislation would not be an unconstitutional act by Parliament, saying that in the current landscape, it was “important to remember the fundamental principle of parliamentary sovereignty.”
“Parliament is sovereign as a matter of domestic law and can pass legislation which is in breach of the UK’s treaty obligations,” the government said in its statement.
The position was slammed by legal experts.
“This really is first-term, first-year undergraduate tosh from the attorney general,” said David Allen Green, a legal commentator.
Meanwhile, University of Cambridge public law professor Mark Elliott said that the government’s position was laughable.
“The government’s argument is that parliament’s legal capacity in domestic law to make any law it wants somehow makes it acceptable, as a matter of international law, for the UK to renege on its treaty obligations. But the latter does not follow the former,” he said.