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    U.K. Justice Secretary Warns He May Quit Over Brexit Law Breach

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      Justice Secretary Robert Buckland defended the U.K. government‘s plan to break international law by re-writing the Brexit deal, but warned he could quit over the issue if it isn’t adequately resolved by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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      “If I see the rule of law being broken in a way I find unacceptable, then of course I will go,” Buckland said on BBC TV on Sunday, when asked if he would resign if Britain acted on its plan to unilaterally override the legally binding Brexit divorce treaty. “We are not at that stage.”

      Buckland said he expects the U.K. will resolve its differences with the European Union in discussions in the coming weeks and won‘t have to act on Johnson’s plan. He described Johnsons proposal as a “break the glass in emergency provision” and an insurance policy.

      Buckland‘s warning comes as Johnson tries to marshal his Conservative colleagues to support his controversial plan, with former prime ministers Tony Blair, Theresa May and John Major criticizing his proposals to rewrite the divorce agreement he struck with the EU last year. In a joint opinion piece in the Sunday Times, Major and Blair said Johnson’s move is “shocking” and “imperils” the Good Friday accord that led to more than two decades of peace in Northern Ireland.

      Johnsons next challenge is to get his legislation through Parliament, where resistance looms: the opposition Labour Party will vote against the bill and seek to amend it, shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said on BBC TV on Sunday.

      “The bill as it stands, the Labour Party and it looks like a large number of Conservative MPs, will not be able to support it,” Reeves said. “I cannot go through the division lobbies knowing that we are deliberately and consciously breaking international law.”

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      ‘Enormous Tensions’

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      The U.K.‘s actions also continued to provoke disappointment and criticism from EU figures. Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, said Britain had created “enormous tensions” in the trade negotiations with its proposals and had damaged trust between the two sides.

      “The British government is behaving in an extraordinary way,” Coveney said on BBC TV. “When we sign an agreement, we need to keep that agreement.”

      The risk for Britain is that the latest deterioration in talks increases the prospect that it will end the Brexit transition period without a free-trade accord with the EU, spelling an economic shock as tariffs and quotas are introduced on commerce with its biggest trading partner. It also faces the potential for border chaos as freight faces significant extra red tape and new government IT systems are still untested and in development.

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