The Internal Market Bill has cleared its first key hurdle in the House of Commons, passing by 340 votes to 263 in a vote on Monday evening.
The bill, which has been widely viewed as controversial, is expected, if passed into law, to give the UK Government powers to override parts of the EU Withdrawal Agreement that was signed off between the UK & EU earlier this year ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union on January 31.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the bill as an ‘insurance policy’ and a ‘very sensible measure’, however, several members of his own party have been openly sceptical about the bill.
Many have warned that the bill risks damaging the UK’s reputation, with it thought that it could breach international law.
On Monday, several Conservatives had said they would either abstain or vote against the government on the bill, while in recent days and ahead of the debate and vote, all five living former prime ministers expressed their concerns about the bill.
The bill passed its second reading on Monday (14 September) with a majority of 77 votes, but it will now undergo further scrutiny from Tuesday where it will begin its ‘Committee stage’.