Britain plunged Brexit trade talks into crisis on Wednesday by explicitly acknowledging it could break international law by ignoring some parts of its European Union divorce treaty, prompting a rapid rebuke from the EU’s chief executive.

Brushing aside warnings from Brussels that breaching the treaty would prevent any trade deal being struck, London said in the proposed legislation that it would ignore parts of the Withdrawal Agreement, which was only signed in January.

The Internal Markets Bill spells out that certain provisions are “to have effect notwithstanding inconsistency or incompatibility with international or other domestic law”.

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