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Britain plays the madman and leaves Europe rattled
t was widely expected in Brussels that Britain would up the ante ahead of this week's round of talks with the European Union. Declarations about sovereignty and praise for a crashout exit were very much priced-in.

What was not anticipated is that the London government would declare an intention to break international law.

The six words of Britain's Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis to describe his government's proposed Bill - "Yes, this does break international law" - caused consternation across Europe. It's not just a problem for the Brexit talks: it goes against an underlying assumption of western foreign policy and the international order.

"I come from a Commonwealth country, we have so often in our recent history looked to the UK as an example of how an old and evolved democracy should function on the world stage," the Maltese Christian Democrat MEP Roberta Metsola told The Irish Times.

"This is not an inconsequential statement. I can understand the argument that it would be difficult for the UK to remain the trusted international powerhouse it has always been."

Britain itself relies on the principle of "pacta sunt servanda" or "agreements must be kept", all the time. Only last week, foreign secretary Dominic Raab deplored the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny as "utterly deplorable and a violation of international law".

The tenet that treaties made with others cannot lawfully be changed by just one side has built up our world order over hundreds of years. Spain barely disguises its disdain at Britain's retention of Gibraltar, but it was agreed in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 at 02:09:55 PM EST
Speaking of former British colonies:

Pelosi warns 'no chance' of US-UK trade deal if Brexit violates international treaty

(CNN)Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, has warned that Britain will be unable to secure a trade deal with the US if it does anything to undermine the treaty that brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of violence.
"If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress," Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday.
by Bernard on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 at 04:43:13 PM EST
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