The British House of Commons on Monday passed a government bill to amend trade relations with Northern Ireland. There were 295 votes in favor and 221 votes against. The proposal now moves to the group stage, where it is further considered.
Earlier this month, the government in London announced plans to change what is known as the Northern Ireland Protocol. It is part of the Brexit agreement with the European Union to ensure that there are no more difficult borders between Northern Ireland and Ireland after Brexit. Northern Ireland belongs to the United Kingdom and Ireland to the European Union.
Such a border could jeopardize the precious peace between pro-Irish Catholics and pro-British Protestants on the island.
London says this protocol will make trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK more difficult and that the Northern Irish people will have to follow Brussels rules. The European Union has launched three criminal proceedings against the United Kingdom.
This proposal is not controversial in British circles. Not everyone in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party voted in favor. Former Prime Minister Theresa May did not agree with the government’s plans. “It’s not legal, it’s not achieving its goals, and it would devalue the UK in the world,” May said.