Attorney general Suella Braverman has branded Labour “unpatriotic” for opposing the Internal Market Bill which will break international law.
Braverman said Labour’s stance on the bill, which the government admitted broke the law in “a very limited and specific way” was “anything but patriotic”.
Labour’s stance on the bill matches that of all living former prime ministers.
Shadow solicitor general Ellie Reeves accused the attorney general of betraying defenders of the rule of law in the House of Commons.
She said: “As a barrister she knows the role of the government law officers: they must uphold the rule of law without fear or favour. As her own political hero Margaret Thatcher once said: ‘In order to be considered truly free, countries must have an abiding respect for the rule of law.’.
“Yet there’s a universal view amongst those who look to the attorney general to defend the rule of law that she has betrayed them.”
Braverman replied: “I prefer to take a less emotional approach than the honourable lady. I’m extremely proud to be supporting this bill: it protects our country and safeguards the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“The honourable lady’s leader called for patriotism this week but their opposition to this bill is anything but patriotic.”
“How she can call herself an MP who sits in the United Kingdom parliament and at the same time vote against a bill that defends the unity of our country, maintains peace in Northern Ireland, and enables the United Kingdom, her country, to thrive – is not only illogical – but does a grave disservice to the nation’s interests.”
Labour leader Keir Starmer said in a party political broadcast this week that he was “proud of being patriotic”, telling voters: “We love this country as you do.”