Northern Ireland unions call on Westminster MPs to support Lords amendments to Internal Markets Bill.

7 Dec 2020

NIC-ICTU News Release

This week in Westminster, amendments from the Lords on the government’s treaty–breaking Internal Markets Bill will go to the Commons, where it is expected that Conservative MPs will expunge those amendments and continue with high-wire act of Prime Minister Johnson.

Commenting ahead of a series of discussions in Westminster, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy said:

“This tactic of the Johnson administration of using domestic legislation to try and game the negotiations with the EU is backfiring badly. The government’s boasts about breaking international law and breaching international treaties has shattered the trust of all international negotiating partners and exposed the utter bad faith of the government.   

“Comments made about the level playing field recently are deeply alarming for those of us concerned about employment rights and the climate crisis, as much as we are concerned about the economic damage being contemplated to the UK as a whole and to Northern Ireland in particular.

“The Internal Markets Bill, allied with a ‘review’ announced today of the Human Rights Act, also risks a breach of the Good Friday Agreement and the Protocol. For an Act which protects the fundamental rights of all our members to be undermined in this way by the UK Government is shocking. We fear this represents the beginning of a sustained attack on the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights which we will strongly oppose.” 

“We will be making our views very clearly known to both the Irish government and directly to Michel Barnier and his negotiating team when we engage with him later this month.”