UK minister declines to say whether Britain would abide by arbitration panel rulings

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis declined to say on Wednesday whether Britain would abide by any decision made by an arbitration panel if such a body got involved in a dispute with the European Union over the divorce agreement.

Questioned by lawmakers over the government’s decision to push through legislation that would breach the divorce agreement with the EU, Lewis said ministers did not want to get to the point when an arbitration body would get involved.

Asked whether Britain would abide by any decision made by such an arbitration body, he said the question was getting involved in “hypotheticals”. “You’ve know me long enough to know that’s somewhere I’ve always felt is not helpful, dangerous to get in to,” he told a parliamentary committee.

Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Kate Holton