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Britain will stand by Brexit deal-breaking bill

FILE PHOTO: Puzzle with printed EU and UK flags is seen in this illustration taken November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain stands by clauses in legislation the government has admitted breach a divorce deal with the European Union, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, repeating they were necessary to provide a legal safety net.

The Internal Market Bill, which the government says is necessary to provide for unfettered trade between the four nations of the United Kingdom next year, is expected to return to parliament next week. The mood of trade talks could sour further if the government presses on with the controversial clauses.

“Our position on the clauses remains unchanged,” the spokesman told reporters. “We set out the rationale for why we needed the clauses in order to provide a legal safety net and to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Andrew MacAskill