Justice Minister defends controversial Brexit Bill after Government law officer resigns

16 September 2020, 21:38 | Updated: 16 September 2020, 22:12

Tory MP Lucy Frazer defends Brexit Bill

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Justice Minister Lucy Frazer has defended a controversial Brexit bill following the resignation of one of the Government's top law officers.

During Cross Question on LBC, Lucy Frazer told listeners that the Internal Markets Bill - which critics claim breaks international law - would "protect the integrity" of the UK after Brexit.

She said: "What we want to do is to ensure that we have unfettered access for goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK - and that's essential.

"We don't want to be in a position where we can't import food for example from Northern Ireland and so what we're doing is creating a safety net to ensure that if we don't reach a deal by the end of the year with the EU, we won't be restricting our obligations to the rest of the country."

Tory MP Lucy Frazer has defended the Brexit bill on LBC
Tory MP Lucy Frazer has defended the Brexit bill on LBC. Picture: LBC

LBC presenter Iain Dale pushed the minister on whether she could "reconcile your position with potentially breaking the law".

She replied: "We will be breaching international law if we exercise those powers, but that's down the line.

"We don't only have international obligations, we also have international rights under international treaties, and if we find ourselves in a position whereby the EU is breaching or acting in good faith we have rights and remedies."

It follows the resignation of Tory Lord Keen - Advocate General for Scotland - over the proposals.

Downing Street announced his resignation on Friday afternoon, but soon after announced a deal with a group of Tory MPs who were plotting to rebel against the next vote on the bill.

You can listen back to Cross Question with Iain Dale.