Boris Johnson’s controversial plan to override key elements of the Brexit deal he signed with Brussels has cleared its first Commons hurdle despite concerns from a number of MPs.

The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill cleared its first Commons hurdle after MPs approved giving it a second reading.

Some senior Tories also expressed concern with the bill which has been widely condemned for disrespecting international law by overriding the Withdrawal Agreement.

What is the Internal Market Bill?

The Internal Market Bill is its proposed replacement, aiming to ensure all four of the UK's home nations are not limited by regulations determined by each devolved government.

As the four nations will no longer be constrained by EU law, the bill aims to create common rules that apply across the UK - essentially replacing the Single Market with a similar UK-wide framework.

READ MORE: What is the Internal Market Bill, how does it break the law?

Who voted for the Internal Market Bill?

MPs voted to give the UK Internal Market Bill a second reading by 340 to 263 – a Government majority of 77.

Two Tory MPs – Sir Roger Gale and Andrew Percy – voted against the Bill, while 30 did not cast a vote although some may have been “paired” with opposition MPs.

The Government tally was bolstered by the support of seven DUP MPs.

Six Scottish Conservative MPs backed the bill including Douglas Ross- 

Andrew Bowie, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

David Duguid, Banff and Buchan

Alister Jack, Dumfries and Galloway

John Lamont, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

David Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Douglas Ross, Moray

You can see how every Scottish MP voted HERE

What has been said about the legislation?

The Prime Minister said the legislation was necessary to prevent the EU taking an “extreme and unreasonable” interpretation of the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

He said some in Brussels were now threatening to block UK agri-food exports to the EU and to insist on tariffs on all goods moving to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

Who has expressed concern over the bill?

Some senior Conservatives warned they could not support the legislation in its present form after ministers admitted last week that it breached international law.

Sir Roger GaleSir Roger Gale (Lewis Whyld/PA)

Sir Roger Gale acknowledged he was in a “tiny minority” of Conservatives in voting against the Bill but predicted others could rebel when the Commons comes to consider the amendments which have been tabled.

David Cameron expressed his “misgivings” and former chancellor Sajid Javid and former attorney general Geoffrey Cox said they could not support the overwriting of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The intervention by Mr Cameron – who said passing legislation which breaks international treaty obligations was “the very, very last thing you should contemplate” – means all five living former prime ministers have spoken out against the Bill.

The SNP also voted against the Bill with SNP MP Kirsten Oswald, the party's deputy in Westminster, said her party would "fiercely resist" the bill, adding that it was "dangerous and undemocratic".

She added: "It is outrageous that Westminster is forcing this bill through despite overwhelming opposition from Scotland's MPs and national Parliament.

What did Boris Johnson say?

In the Commons, Mr Johnson – who took the unusual step of opening the debate himself – said the “protective” measures were necessary because the EU was now trying to “leverage” the Northern Ireland protocol in the talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal.

He said Brussels negotiators were threatening to ban the sale of UK agri-food products anywhere in the EU, creating an “instant and automatic” prohibition on the movement of such goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

“Absurd and self-defeating as that action would be even as we debate this matter, the EU still have not taken this revolver off the table,” he said.

Mr Johnson said some on the EU side even wanted to designate all goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland as being “at risk” of entering the EU single market, making them liable to EU tariffs.

He said it could mean levies of 61% on Welsh lamb, 90% on Scottish beef and 100% on Devonshire clotted cream, and would “carve tariff borders across our own country”.

“We cannot have a situation where the very boundaries of our country could be dictated by a foreign power or international organisation,” he said.

“No British prime minister, no government, no parliament could ever accept such an imposition.”

What did Labour say about the Bill?

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband – standing in for Sir Keir Starmer who is in coronavirus self-isolation – said Mr Johnson had only himself to blame for signing up to the Withdrawal Agreement.

“Either he wasn’t straight with the country about the deal in the first place or he didn’t understand it,” Mr Miliband said.

“Because a competent government would never have entered into a binding agreement with provisions it could not live with.”

A number of Conservative former ministers made clear that they would not support any measure which breached international law, including Andrew Mitchell, Sir Oliver Heald and another former attorney general Jeremy Wright.

Sir Charles Walker, the vice-chairman of the powerful Tory backbench 1922 Committee, and Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan – a member of last year’s new intake of Conservative MPs – said they would not be supporting the Bill at second reading.

Sir Bob Neill, the chairman of the Commons Justice Committee who has tabled an amendment requiring a vote of Parliament before ministers can exercise the new powers in the Bill, urged MPs to “take the opportunity to change and improve these clauses”.

What happens next?

MPs will begin detailed line-by-line scrutiny of the Bill on Tuesday, with votes expected next week on amendments to the Northern Ireland provisions which some Tories may back.

There are four days of debate scheduled before a third reading later this year. 

The Bill will then go to the House of Lords where it could face amendments as the Conservatives do not have a majority.