Hastings and Rye MP voted to support Internal Market Bill

Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart has confirmed she voted to support the government’s Internal Market Bill as it passed the first hurdle in the Commons.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 10:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 5:57 pm
Hastings and Rye MP, Sally-Ann Hart. SUS-191004-160601001

The bill – which gives the government power to override parts of the Brexit agreement – was passed by MPs on Monday night (September 14) by 340 votes to 263, a majority of 77.

The government claims it protects Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK if negotiations with the EU on a future trade deal break down.

However, critics, including some Conservative MPs, voted against the bill or abstained, warning it risked breaking international law.

Last week, Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis admitted the bill breaks international law in a ‘specific and limited way’.

Sally-Ann Hart, who confirmed she voted in support of the bill, said: “My overriding principle to the Brexit debate is very simple – we must get Brexit done.

“The Prime Minister and I made a promise to the residents of Hastings and Rye in December 2019 that we would deliver on the instruction of the British people in the 2016 Referendum and ensure Brexit is delivered.

“The Internal Market Bill that I voted for, and in support of the Government on last night, moves us on the journey to ensuring we get Brexit done.”

Michael Foster, Labour MP for Hastings and Rye for 13 years to 2010, described the Government’s latest action as ‘unjustified and counter-productive’.

The former MP said: “Our best bet of getting a deal is that we show that we can trusted, that we stick to our word, that we are not lawless in pursuit of a deal which is our objective. I believe this (the UK Internal Market Bill) is going to make it more difficult rather than less difficult.

“How will other international dealings be possible outside Europe if we can’t be trusted, that we can’t stick to our word?

“We do not know how the EU will interpret the Northern Ireland arrangements. If the EU, as the prime minister has suggested, threatens to blockade Northern Ireland, there might be some justification for retaliatory action. But there is no evidence that this is likely to happen.

“But if it did happen, that’s the time to determine that the threat to the integrity of the Union is so great that we take a different view.

“Preemptive action of the kind the Government has taken is not justified. This is no more than posturing by a prime minister and a government, and a local MP, without having really considered the consequences and breaking the law always has consequences.”