UK govt defiant after House of Lords rejects Brexit bill

LONDON (AP) — The British government is refusing to withdraw legislation that breaks a legally binding Brexit treaty, despite a resounding rejection of the bill by the Upper House of Parliament.

The House of Lords voted by large margins late on Monday to strip from the Internal Market Bill clauses that give the government power to break sections of the divorce agreement it signed with the European Union before the United Kingdom (UK) left the bloc in January.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government acknowledges that the bill breaches international law, and the legislation has been condemned by the European Union (EU), United States (US) President-elect Joe Biden and scores of British lawmakers, including many from Johnson’s Conservative Party.

Former Conservative leader Michael Howard, a member of the Lords, said he was “dismayed” by the bill and urged the government to think again.

But the government said it would restore the rejected sections when the bill returns to the House of Commons in the coming weeks.