With the WAB, the Commons and Lords are expected to resolve their disagreements on Wednesday 22 January. The first would be to argue that the assertion of sovereignty is too general to allow legislation that contradicts the Withdrawal Agreement. Article 4 clearly provides for the possibility that UK courts will not have to apply inconsistent domestic provisions, for which the UK has agreed to legislate. That is what Section 7A achieves and what Parliament intends to do. A general assertion of sovereignty in § 38 does not lead to a specific normative claim that may prevail over the clear and precise obligations of the Withdrawal Agreement. It would therefore remain the duty of the British courts to apply conflicting provisions of a British Internal Market Act. The next day, the British Minister for Northern Ireland admitted an urgent question on the proposals that will be published in an upcoming UK Single Market Bill: Article 38 deals with parliamentary sovereignty. Independent reviews of the clause, including by the library and the Institute for Government, indicate how meaningless it is. He just says something without giving him any power. It has no legal power, but during this act, extensive delegated powers are transferred from this Parliament to the executive.

The government has just voted against restricting these powers in the usual restricted way in the Withdrawal Act 2018 to protect things like the Human Rights Act, the Government of Wales Act, the Scotland Act and the Northern Ireland Act. The Parliamentary Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who sat on the dispatch box on the previous group of amendments, could not explain why the government felt it could not accept such restrictions. That is where the concern comes in, especially with respect to section 21. There is no sunset clause – there is no limit. This plan to rebalance powers between the executive, Parliament and the courts was included in the Conservative manifesto, and we literally see it come to life in this bill. There is circularity in the design of the 2018 law (as amended). Article 7a makes it clear that the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement are enforceable in the UK courts. Once created by law, this effect does not depend on other decrees of the British Parliament. .