in an agreement that the government, this government, had freely concluded in October. The way the government has decided to tackle this problem is the internal market law. This is a new piece of legislation that has just been published and submitted to Parliament and, in Part 5 of this Act, you have provisions on how the government is trying to deal with the problems caused by Article 10 of the Irish Protocol. When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a number of complex problems arose, including the internal market, but also many other issues. Many of these issues were addressed in the withdrawal agreement signed by ImOctober in 2019, a monster document of more than 540 pages. The problems caused by Brexit for the internal market were further complicated by the Irish border and by the general idea that there would be no barrier to trade or economic activity on the island of Ireland, and the United Kingdom and the European Union therefore agreed that a substantial part of the withdrawal agreement would be devoted to the management of the particular problems caused by the Irish border and the internal market. An important part of the withdrawal agreement is this protocol on Ireland and, in that protocol, Article 10 concerns state aid and the island of Ireland, but you will see in the first sentence of the provision that „the provisions of EU law in Appendix 5, which are those relating to state aid, „apply to the United Kingdom,“ including Point. On the face of it, this means that the whole of the UK must have some sort of formal relationship with EU state aid rules, even if the UK leaves the European Union altogether next year. It is a new kind of situation, but any constitutional crisis, or in some other way, exists at two levels. There is the general level of the first principles. This is about the rule of law, the role of the House of Commons and the Lords, the situation of the Irish border, even the devolved administrations.
This is a remarkable, if not dramatic, development that raises obvious general constitutional issues such as the rule of law, the idea that the government should have a legal basis for what it does and should be bound by law. This bill is still at an early stage of its passage by Parliament.