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Johnson's move to rewrite Brexit rules clears 1st hurdle


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson waits for the start of a group photo at the G7 summit at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The Group of Seven leading economic powers are meeting in Germany for their annual gathering Sunday through Tuesday. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, Pool)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bid to rip up parts of the post-Brexit trade deal he signed with the European Union has cleared its first hurdle in Parliament, despite warnings from opponents that the move is illegal.

Lawmakers voted 295 to 221 late Monday to give initial approval to a bill allowing U.K. officials to rewrite trade rules for Northern Ireland. The vote clears the way for the bill to undergo detailed scrutiny in coming weeks.

If approved, the legislation would remove checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., thereby scrapping parts of a trade treaty that Johnson signed before Britain left the EU in 2020.

The British government says the rules, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, are burdening businesses and undermining peace in Northern Ireland. It argues the unilateral move is justified under international law because of the “genuinely exceptional situation.”

Johnson’s opponents say the move is illegal and that going ahead will seriously damage Britain's international reputation.

The EU has threatened to retaliate against the U.K. if it goes ahead with its plan to rewrite the rules of the post-Brexit deal, raising the specter of a trade war between the two major economic partners.

Johnson said he believed the plan could become law by the end of the year if Parliament cooperates. The government wants to fast-track the bill through Parliament before lawmakers take their summer break.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares a border with an EU country, Ireland. When Britain left the European Union and its borderless free-trade zone, the two sides agreed to keep the Irish land border free of customs posts and other checks because an open border is a key pillar of the peace process that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.


Instead, to protect the EU’s single market, there are checks on some goods, such as meat and eggs, entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.

Johnson’s Conservative government claims overzealous EU implementation means the rules are not working as expected and are causing a political crisis in Northern Ireland.

___

Follow all AP stories on Brexit at https://apnews.com/hub/Brexit

7 Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks That Won’t be Impacted by Rising Interest Rates

Stock markets move in cycles. Historically, bull markets last longer than bear markets, but both can last longer than investors expect. But inside bull markets and bear markets, there can still be volatile price changes in the opposite direction. And when the market does reverse direction, the biggest gains are made by investors that stay the course.

In a volatile market, one option for staying the course is to invest in quality blue-chip dividend stocks. Blue-chip stocks are companies that have a large market capitalization. That means there are companies in mature industries.

That maturity allows these companies to deliver consistent performance that is independent of whatever is happening with the country's monetary policy. When interest rates fall, these companies are poised for growth. And when interest rates rise, these companies have strong balance sheets that allow them to maintain pricing power and profits to provide stability.

All of this means that investors with lower risk tolerances can stay in the market without having to give up on growth. And in this special presentation, we're giving investors seven blue-chip names that investors can buy with confidence no matter what is happening with interest rates.

View the "7 Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks That Won’t be Impacted by Rising Interest Rates".

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