The British government is putting forward legislation which would break worldwide law in order to thwart European Union efforts to threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom, according to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.
Johnson won the so-called second reading parliamentary vote on the Internal Market Bill by 340 votes to 263.
David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom at the time of the Brexit referendum, became the last living former British prime minister to express his concerns about the bill, warning hours before the debate that "passing an act of Parliament and then going on to break an global treaty obligation is the very, very last thing you should contemplate". It would also overturn state aid rules in Northern Ireland.
Boris Johnson's internal markets bill passed the first reading by 77 votes.
Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, Mr Cameron said: "Passing an act of parliament and then going on to break an worldwide treaty obligation is the very, very last thing you should contemplate. That is the fundamental goal of this bill", he told the MPs.
The Northern Ireland Protocol, created to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland, was negotiated and agreed by Johnson last autumn.
Addressing concerns over the Bill, Lord Keen, one of the Government's law officers, insisted he did not believe it to be in breach of worldwide law.
Sajid Javid, Conservative MP and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister, in other words), had also come out against the bill, saying in a tweet that he could not see why it would be necessary to break worldwide law in the instance of the Internal Market Bill.
"I believe very strongly we should obey global law. I believe the United Kingdom's word is its bond and I think this is damaging our worldwide reputation for honesty and straight-dealing", Sir Roger said.
Ed Miliband stood in for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who is self-isolating after a member of his family developed Covid symptoms. "There is much to play for yet". "Those negotiations go on", Mr Gove told the Commons.
He said it erodes trust and makes complex negotiations even more hard.
He claimed the Northern Ireland Secretary had "answered the wrong question" when speaking to MPs (see video below), and "as a effect the whole matter has been taken out of context".
"Either he wasn't straight with the country about the deal in the first place or he didn't understand it", Mr Miliband said.
"Because a competent government would never have entered into a binding agreement with provisions it could not live with".
The Commons also voted against a Labour amendment to reject the bill entirely by 349 votes to 213.
"When it comes to preserving the integrity of the United Kingdom and clearly delivering for the people of Northern Ireland when it comes to the Good Friday Agreement, we've said from day one. that we would always stand by our word and not compromise when it comes to unfettered access in goods and services but also standing by the Good Friday Agreement", she said on BBC Breakfast.
"It is critical that we pass this Bill before the end of the year".