The Internal Market Bill has overcome its first hurdle despite causing a political divide as MPs claim it is "breaking international law".

The bill breaches part of the Government's Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and if it receives royal assent it will bring forward legislation to enshrine "mutual recognition and non-discrimination".

This means any goods or services which can be sold in one part of the UK can be sold in all four nations of the UK. There would also be UK-wide trading rules and regulations - so one part of the UK cannot benefit more than the other.

But it has been controversial amongst MPs with senior Tories also saying they were against the Bill.

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One of the main issues surrounding this bill is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Brexit agreement and would mean that goods will not need to be checked along the Irish border when the new UK-EU relationship starts. Northern Ireland would continue to enforce the EU's custom rules and follow its rules on product standards.

The Observer asked MPs in Hertfordshire why they voted in favour or against the Bill.

Here is what they said:

Dean Russell, Watford

Watford Observer:

Mr Russell voted in favour of the bill calling it a "sensible provision" for the Government. He said the bill will only challenge international laws if necessary to "assert our decision and our sovereign and democratic right to leave the EU".

He explained that UK and international law are not the same, as sovereign states (the UK) can make their own laws which are supreme and that it can make and change domestic laws without international intervention.

He added that when the Withdrawal Agreement was passed it was done so "with the knowledge" that specific areas needed work and that the aspect of the bill which covered how goods and services can move between the UK nations was set out in "good faith" by both parties meaning they would have to work to find a solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He added: "In the negotiations to reach a deal, the EU has decided to test the limits of what the UK negotiators consider 'good faith' to mean.

"For example, it is threatening sanctions (imposing tariffs on goods between NI and the UK) and demanding concessions (e.g. on access to our fishing waters) before it will agree to what else is considered. The impact of this risks splitting up the union of the UK by forcing import and export rules upon the sovereign state of the UK.

"The vote ensured this would not be possible."

Gagan Mohindra, South West Hertfordshire

Watford Observer:

Gagan who also voted in favour of the Bill said it does not break the Northern Ireland Protocol.

But said it does gives the Government the power to ensure that the Protocol is implemented in a a way that it does not compromise the Good Friday Agreement.

He added: "Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, once the transition period expires the UK will become a 'third country' to the EU and its food standards must be 'listed' with other countries.

"The EU has made it clear to the UK negotiators in the current talks that there is no guarantee of listing us. EU negotiators have also said explicitly in these talks that if the UK is not listed, food cannot be exported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland."

Gagan said it would be "wrong" for the Government to allow the blockade of Northern Ireland if the EU breaks its obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement to negotiate in good faith.

He added: "If the EU does attempt a blockade of food, the Government will take limited and reasonable steps as laid out in the UK Internal Market Bill to ensure that the Government is always able to deliver on its commitments to the people of Northern Ireland."

Daisy Cooper, St Albans

Watford Observer:

The new Lib Dem deputy leader voted against the bill and said she thought it was "outrageous" and that the bill could potentially "destroy" the UK's international reputation with partners.

She said: "It’s outrageous that the Prime Minister is willing to not only break the law but fundamentally destroy our international reputation with partners.

"This move that he’s suggesting could not only undermine getting a deal with the EU, but could also undermine the chances of getting a deal with the US.

"A no-deal Brexit would be so bad for this country, particularly at a time when we are dealing with coronavirus this autumn."

MPs Mike Penning, Bim Afolami and Oliver Dowden all voted in favour of the bill, they were contacted for comment but didn't get back in time of publication.