uk-legal-office-boss-quits-amid-brexit-concerns

UK legal office boss quits amid Brexit concerns

A spokesman for Boris Johnson refused to comment on Jonathan Jones' departure | Leon Neal/Getty Images

UK legal office boss quits amid Brexit concerns

Jonathan Jones resigned over claims London plans to renege on parts of the Withdrawal Agreement, according to reports.

By

9/8/20, 2:18 PM CET

Updated 9/8/20, 2:39 PM CET

LONDON — The head of the U.K. legal department has resigned amid accusations in the press that Boris Johnson plans to undermine the Brexit deal he struck in October.

Downing Street confirmed Jonathan Jones quit as the permanent secretary of the government Legal Department, making him the sixth top civil servant to quit in 2020.

According to the Financial Times, which first reported the story, Jones resigned over suggestions that Johnson could backtrack on elements of the protocol on Northern Ireland, part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

But a spokesman for the prime minister refused to comment on the reason for his departure. He thanked Jones “for his long service and wish[ed] him well for the future.”

The government confirmed on Monday that it will legislate to fill in gaps in the Northern Irish protocol that were meant to be filled through negotiations in the so-called Joint Committee between the two sides.

The Internal Market Bill, set to be published on Wednesday, will give ministers powers to determine which goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are deemed “at risk” of ending up in the Republic and must therefore undergo greater customs hurdles.

It will also waive the need for export declarations on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and allow the government to decide when EU state aid rules affecting businesses in Northern Ireland should impact linked firms in Great Britain.

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