Amal Clooney has resigned as the UK’s special envoy on media freedom in protest to the government’s willingness to override the Brexit agreement.
The human rights lawyer announced she was quitting the post following Boris Johnson’s threat that he would bring in new legislation to overrule part of the Withdrawal Agreement that he signed only last year.
On Friday, the 42-year-old submitted her resignation letter to the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, saying: “I have been dismayed to learn that the government intends to pass legislation – the internal market bill – which, if enacted, would, by the government’s own admission, ‘break international law’.
“Although the government has suggested that the intended violation of international law is ‘specific and limited’, it is lamentable for the UK to be speaking of its intention to violate an international treaty signed by the prime minister less than a year ago.”
Clooney said she was “disappointed” that she has had to step-down but having “received no assurance that any change of position is imminent, I have no alternative but to resign from my position”.
She added: “I am disappointed to have to do so because I have always been proud of the UK’s reputation as a champion of the international legal order, and of the culture of fair play for which it is known. 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 UK declares that it does not intend to do so itself.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who used to work in the same barristers' chambers as Ms Clooney, said he supports her decision.
"I know Amal and she is a first class lawyer. I'm not surprised that she has quit because, like others, she's concluded that there is a conflict between a breach of international law - which the government seems intent on - and our reputation as a country in the world that abides by the rule of law," he said.
Clooney is not the first senior figure to quit over this dispute. Lord Keen, the Advocate General for Scotland, Sir Jonathan Jones, permanent secretary to the government legal department and Tory MP Rehman Chishti, the UK’s envoy for the protection of religious freedoms, have all resigned too.
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