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Nigel Farage has backed Boris Johnson’s plan to make changes to the withdrawal agreement and vowed to relaunch his Brexit Party and campaign in the constituencies of MPs who do not support the Government motion. The Brexit Party leader has insisted the current deal signed in January does not deliver Brexit and has accused Mr Johnson of misleading the public, but has praised the Prime Minister for trying to put things right.
In a post on Twitter, Mr Farage said: “The withdrawal agreement as it stands is not the Brexit we fought for.
“Boris misled us but is now trying to make amends.
“MPs who vote for Brexit in name only will see campaigns launched against them in their seats. @brexitparty_UK.”
The Prime Minister has put forward plans to break international law with legislation which alters crucial parts of the Brexit divorce deal.
Downing Street says the Internal Market Bill to be debated in parliament this evening, acts as a “safety net” if there is no trade deal between the UK and EU at the end of the transition period.
Under the current terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, both sides agreed a Northern Ireland protocol to ensure there was no hard border down the Irish Sea.
As a result Northern Ireland would effectively remain part of the single market, while the rest of the UK will not, meaning goods travelling from Northern Ireland into the rest of the UK would be subject to checks.
The Internal Market Bill aims to give ministers the powers to reduce checks on goods flowing from Northern Ireland into the rest of the UK and narrow the scope of EU state aid rules.
Former prime ministers David Cameron, Theresa May, Tony Blair and Sir John Major have all opposed the legislation and highlighted the consequences of breaking an international treaty.
Several backbench Tory MPs have also spoke out against the move, including Veteran MP Gary Streeter, Rehman Chishti and former attorney general Geoffrey Cox.
Mr Cox who served as Mr Johnson’s attorney general when the withdrawal agreement was signed, said the Government “knew” what it was agreeing to when it ratified the exit terms.
Speaking to Times Radio, he said: “What I can say from my perspective is we simply cannot approve or endorse a situation in which we go back on our word, given solemnly not only by the British Government and on behalf of the British Crown, but also by Parliament when we ratified this in February, unless there are extreme circumstances which arrive involving a breach of duty of the good faith by the EU.
“In those circumstances, there are then lawful remedies open to us and it is those we should take rather than violating international law and a solemn treaty.
“The breaking of the law leads ultimately to very long-term and permanent damage to this country’s reputation and it is also a question of honour to me – we signed up, we knew what we were signing.”
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The Prime Minister will face down his growing number of critics and kick-of the crunch debate later this evening in the Commons.
Ahead of the vote, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We have been very clear in setting out our reasons for introducing the measures in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“They are to create a legal safety net, to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market, ensure ministers can always deliver on their obligations to Northern Ireland and to protect the gains from the peace protest.”
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