Boris Johnson will not back down over the Internal Market Bill, despite it threatening to create early tensions with US president-elect Joe Biden, a cabinet minister has claimed.
Environment secretary George Eustice said the government would reinstate controversial clauses that enable ministers to break international laws if Lords try to strip them out.
Biden warned during his successful campaign against Donald Trump that a trade deal with the US is “contingent” on the prevention of a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The House of Lords is expected to defeat the government over a number of controversial clauses later after it admitted it would give powers to break international law in a “very specific and limited way”.
Asked if the government would reinstate them, Eustice told Sky News: “We will.
“The UK Internal Market Bill is not about undermining the Belfast Agreement, it’s about standing behind it, making sure that it works and looking after the interests of Northern Ireland, making sure the peace and stability that’s been hard won there can carry on.”
Eustice sought to reassure Biden that there would be no need for a hard border.
“All of that work is being done and because that work is being done there will be no need for checks on the Northern Ireland border,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.