Amal Clooney quits as British media envoy over plan to break EU treaty

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney said she could no longer serve as Britain's special envoy for media since London plans to break international law by overriding aspects of its Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Sept. 19 (UPI) — Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Friday resigned her role as Britain’s envoy on media freedom in response to the country’s plan to break part of its Brexit agreement with the European Union.

Clooney said the bill would, “by the government’s own admission, ‘break international law’ if enacted.”

“Although the government has suggested that the violation of international law would be ‘specific and limited,’ it is lamentable for the U.K. to be speaking of its intention to violate an international treaty signed by the prime minister less than a year ago,” she wrote in a letter to British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is supporting an internal market bill that, if passed by Parliament, would allow the government to override aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement concerning how goods move between the four nations of the United Kingdom. Britain signed the agreement with the European Union in January and passing the internal market bill would break the treaty.

The international law and human rights attorney, who is married to Oscar-winning actor George Clooney, said she was disappointed to leave the position because she’s “proud of the U.K.’s reputation as a champion of the international legal order.”

“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 U.K. declares that it does not intend to do so itself,” she wrote.

Clooney isn’t the only official to protest the legislation. Leaders of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales said they’re concerned the bill would allow the government to spend in their countries without their own government’s involvement.

The law officer for Scotland, Richard Keen, resigned earlier this week over the legislation, saying he “found it increasingly difficult to reconcile” his role as a lawyer with the bill’s plan to “break international law.”


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