A POLITICAL row has erupted between the leader of Colchester Council and the town’s MP over the Government’s move to override parts of the Brexit agreement with the EU.

Mark Cory, Lib Dem leader of the authority, has written to Mr Quince and the area’s other Conservative MPs, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Sir Bernard Jenkin, saying he was “saddened” to see them support the Internal Market Bill.

The bill has been criticised after the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said in the House of Commons it would break international law in a “specific and limited way”.

Two Tory rebels sided with the opposition and voted against the bill, but it passed by 340 votes to 263 on Tuesday.

Mr Cory asked a series of questions of the MPs in his letter, written on behalf of the council.

He said: “The Conservative manifesto promised us an ‘oven-ready’ Brexit Deal, was that a lie or has the government failed to cook it up properly?

“Why does the government now need to change its own ‘oven-ready’ Brexit Deal which it rushed through Parliament not allowing the usual time to scrutinise it?

“The vote last night sees the government make changes to its own Withdrawal Agreement Bill, so why have the Conservatives blamed other political parties and the EU for sticking to the original agreements made? “Lastly; “Despite former prime ministers, the Leader of the US House of Representatives, and current Conservative MPs warning against the Government considering breaking the law, you and your colleagues supported this action last night.

“Are you concerned in any way that this may lead people to consider not following laws and breaking rules in a ‘specific and limited way’, especially around stopping the spread of coronavirus?”

Mr Quince said he had responded to Mr Cory’s letter and accused the Lib Dem of “grandstanding” by posting the letter on social media.

He said: “This is something which is well outside the remit of the council and if any constituents want to raise concerns about what is going on in Parliament they should get in touch with their MP.

“I would prefer councillor Cory focused on running Colchester Council and the big issues which face the town and borough. It is grandstanding and political postering on his part.

“The Lib Dems are well out of touch with the people of Colchester on Brexit.

“The Internal Market bill is not something I have had many people contact me on and it doesn’t appear to be a big concern amongst Colchester residents.”

But Mr Cory hit back, saying Mr Quince had not answered the questions and it was hypocritical to accuse him of “political posturing”.

He said: “It is ridiculous, instead of playing the ball he tries to attack the man. I was raising concerns which have been raised with me by constituents.

“It is unbelievable he would accuse me of posturing when he posts a copy of every letter he writes to Colchester Council on social media.

“We have serious concerns within the council of how we ensure residents abide by Covid rules and regulations when the Government itself is breaking the law.

“It does effect us and the response I have had on Twitter shows people in Colchester do care.”