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Saturday, 19 September 2020

Amal Clooney QUITS as UK Government envoy on media freedom over Boris Johnson's 'lamentable' plan to break Brexit deal which would breach international law

 Top international lawyer Amal Clooney blasted Boris Johnson's 'lamentable' Brexit plans today as she quit as a UK Government envoy on media freedom.

The top human rights expert and wife of actor George Clooney announced she was quitting the high profile post over Mr Johnson's intention to bring in new legislation  that would over-ride part of the Withdrawal Agreement he signed last year.

She handed in her notice after a one-to-one meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab 'and received no assurances' about the UK's intentions.

She said the UK's actions threatened 'to embolden autocratic regimes that violate international law with devastating consequences all over the world'. 

Mrs Clooney said she was 'disappointed' to have to resign because 'I have always been proud of the UK's reputation as a champion of the international legal order, and of the culture of fair play for which it is known'.

'However, very sadly, it has now become untenable for me, as Special Envoy, to urge other states to respect and enforce international obligations while the UK declares that it does not intend to do so itself.

'As the President of the Bar Council of England and Wales has affirmed, undermining the rule of law that ''this country is built on ... will fatally puncture people's faith in our justice system'.

'And it threatens to embolden autocratic regimes that violate international law with devastating consequences all over the world.'

The Beirut-born barrister, 42, is the latest lawyer to distance themselves from the Government over the Internal Market Bill, which is passed would break international law.  

The top human rights expert and wife of actor George Clooney announced she was quitting the high profile post over Mr Johnson's intention to bring in new legislation that would over-ride part of the Withdrawal Agreement he signed last year

The top human rights expert and wife of actor George Clooney announced she was quitting the high profile post over Mr Johnson's intention to bring in new legislation that would over-ride part of the Withdrawal Agreement he signed last year


The Prime Minister (pictured today in Oxford) has faced criticism domestically and on the world stage for pursuing legislation that would defy the Withdrawal Agreement brokered with the EU last year, breaking international law in the process

The Prime Minister (pictured today in Oxford) has faced criticism domestically and on the world stage for pursuing legislation that would defy the Withdrawal Agreement brokered with the EU last year, breaking international law in the process

PM Boris Johnson visits coronavirus vaccine research lab
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Mrs Clooney said she was 'disappointed' to have to resign because 'I have always been proud of the UK's reputation as a champion of the international legal order, and of the culture of fair play for which it is known'

Mrs Clooney said she was 'disappointed' to have to resign because 'I have always been proud of the UK's reputation as a champion of the international legal order, and of the culture of fair play for which it is known'

The Prime Minister has faced criticism domestically and on the world stage for pursuing legislation that would defy the Withdrawal Agreement brokered with the EU last year, breaking international law in the process.

Mr Johnson was forced on Wednesday to agree to table an amendment to the Internal Market Bill, giving MPs a vote before the Government can use the powers related to Northern Ireland which would breach the treaty.

In a letter to Mr Raab  this afternoon Mrs Clooney said: 'I accepted the role because I believe in the importance of the cause, and appreciate the significant role that the UK has played and can continue to play in promoting the international legal order.

'In these circumstances I have been dismayed to learn that the Government intends to pass legislation - the Internal Market Bill - which would, by the Government's own admission, ''break international law'' if enacted. 

Amal Clooney and Jeremy Hunt addressing a global conference on press freedom in London in July 2019

Amal Clooney and Jeremy Hunt addressing a global conference on press freedom in London in July 2019

Amal Clooney says Trump is making journalists vulnerable to abuse
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'I was also concerned to note the position taken by the Government that although it is an ''established principle of international law that a state is obliged to discharge its treaty obligations in good faith'', the UK's 'Parliament is sovereign as a matter of domestic law and can pass legislation which is in breach of the UK's Treaty obligations'.

'Although the government has suggested that the violation of international law would be ''specific and limited'', it is lamentable for the UK to be speaking of its intention to violate an international treaty signed by the Prime Minister less than a year ago.

'Out of respect for the professional working relationship I have developed with you and your senior colleagues working on human rights, I deferred writing this letter until I had had a chance to discuss this matter with you directly. But having now done so and received no assurance that any change of position is imminent, I have no alternative but to resign from my position.'

Labour's shadow media minister Chris Matheson said: 'It is humiliating that the UK's special envoy on media freedom has felt unable to continue in her role.

'This shows that by threatening to break international law instead of getting Brexit done as we were promised, the Government is trashing the UK's reputation around the world.'

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