Human rights attorney Amal Clooney on Friday stepped down from her position as the United Kingdom’s special envoy on press freedom, saying in her resignation letter that she is “dismayed” over the government’s effort to breach international law.
Clooney, in her letter sent to U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, said that she found it “lamentable” that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a plan to override Britain’s international treaty obligations in the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and U.K., popularly known as “Brexit.”
“I have been dismayed to learn that the government intends to pass legislation — the Internal Market Bill — which would, by the government’s own admission, ‘break international law’ if enacted,” she said.
“Although the government has suggested that the violation of international law would be ‘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,” she added.
Clooney, who is married to actor George Clooney, said she still firmly believes in “the importance of the media freedom campaign that the UK and Canada are leading,” but explained that “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.”
Her resignation comes after Richard Keen, the British government’s law officer for Scotland, left his position Wednesday, saying he found it “increasingly difficult to reconcile” his obligations as a lawyer with provisions in the Internal Market Bill, according to BBC News.
Last week, the government’s most senior lawyer, Jonathan Jones, stepped down as ministers prepared the bill for publication.
BBC News reported Friday that the EU has called on the British government to remove sections of the legislation that would give the UK the power to override agreements on the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Britain, as well as subsidies for companies in Northern Ireland.