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Three Rivers Lib Dems call on Gagan Mohindra MP to back international law

September 10, 2020 10:06 PM

Cllr Sarah Nelmes

Three Rivers Lib Dems are calling on South West Herts MP Gagan Mohindra to clarify his stance on adherence to international law. Following the Government's decision to introduce legislation which would undermine key aspects of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, Three Rivers Liberal Democrat leader Sarah Nelmes said:

"Boris Johnson is preparing to rip up the rule-book so I am writing to Gagan Mohindra to request his assurances that he will uphold our international commitments, will he vote for credibility or chaos?

"This government is playing fast and loose with our international commitments. At a time when the economy has already been severely weakened by the Covid-19 pandemic, people in our area need assurances that there will be a proper settlement with our nearest neighbours across the channel. It is in no-one's interests to create a major legal and trade dispute to add further uncertainty on top of our already extremely challenging economic position.

"Any attempt to tear up commitments made to Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement and confirmed in the Withdrawal Agreement could have very serious consequences for the UK. These could include international legal action and a downgrading of our reliability as a trading partner around the world, threatening our businesses at an already difficult time; as well as a potentially catastrophic destabilisation of relationships on the island of Ireland."

The Lib Dem's Brexit Spokesperson, Christine Jardine MP said:

"The head of the Government's own legal department quitting over Boris Johnson's approach to Brexit should signal how serious a situation this is.

"For Johnson to think it is acceptable to row back on international agreements and assurances made to Northern Ireland shows he has no respect for international law or the UK's obligations.

"How can the UK expect other countries, like China, to respect the international treaties we hold with them if we don't do the same when it comes to the Withdrawal Agreement?

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Text of letter to Gagan Mohindra MP

Dear Gagan,

I am writing to request that you clarify your position on the UK's commitments to international law and treaty obligations.

Following the resignation of Sir Jonathan Jones, the head of the Government's legal department and the extraordinary comments from the Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis that the proposed Northern Ireland customs rules legislation will "break international law", I would like to ask you to confirm that you would not vote for any legislation that would undermine the UK's historic commitments to international rule of law.

As I am sure you are aware, any attempt to tear up commitments made to Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement and confirmed in the Withdrawal Agreement could have very serious consequences for the UK. These could include international legal action and a downgrading of our reliability as a trading partner around the world, threatening our businesses at an already difficult time; as well as a potentially catastrophic destabilisation of relationships on the island of Ireland.

I am sure you would share my concern that, at this moment in which the country needs to re-build after the Covid-19 pandemic, it would be very damaging to create further tension and uncertainty for the businesses and residents of our area.

I look forward to your reply.

With best wishes,

Sarah Nelmes