Our system of international law has been over 400 years in the making. How would the UK feel if other countries around the world were routinely putting “notwithstanding” clauses into their domestic legislation?
The reality and challenges of being a sovereign nation state are that there are times when tensions and conflicts arise between domestic legislatures and international obligations. There are countless examples of where states with democratically elected Governments, many of whom we held in high regard and including many with whom we deal and have agreements, have resolved those tensions through legislation to depart from, derogate from or even break international law. Of course, two wrongs do not make a right, but that is an important context that sets a perspective for the action this Government are proposing. We are a member of the international rules-based system, and I know our enviable reputation will hold us in good stead.