LONDON

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government have suffered a major defeat in the House of Lords in a vote to amend the Brexit internal market bill.

The House of Lords voted 433 to 165.

Some members of Johnson’s Conservative Party also voted against the controversial bill.

The government is expected to reinstate the controversial clauses when the bill returns to the House of Commons in December.

The British government has publicly admitted that its UK Internal Market Bill will break international law. The bill will unilaterally override key aspects of the UK’s withdrawal agreement with the EU, specifically the Northern Ireland protocol. The government argues this is necessary to ensure unrestricted access for goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

However, the deal Johnson now seeks to unilaterally override is the one he himself negotiated and campaigned on the basis of at the last general election in 2019 and signed in January.

The EU previously warned the UK of legal action if problematic clauses are not removed from the UK Internal Market Bill by the month’s end.

The UK left the EU at the end of January, but remains bound to the bloc for the duration of a transition period that ends on December 31, 2020.

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