THE Internal Market Bill passed its first hurdle, with most East Lancashire MPs mostly voting for the controversial bill.

If passed, the bill will allow Boris Johnson's government to overrule elements of the EU withdrawal agreement.

East Lancashire MPs voted with their party whip, with Kate Hollern being the only local MP to oppose the bill.

Monday night's vote ­— which won 340 to 263 ­— allows the Internal Market Bill move its second reading in the house.

Some Tory MPs rallied against the bill, and government whips are bracing themselves for expected votes next week on amendments to the Northern Ireland provisions which some rebels may back.

Conservative MPs Antony Higginbotham, Sara Britcliffe, Andrew Stephenson and Jake Berry all voted with the Government for the second reading of the bill.

MP for Burnley Antony Higginbotham said: “This delivers on the promise I made in the General Election to protect and strengthen the union of the UK.

“The Bill provides a clear fall back, protecting Northern Ireland's position in the UK if an agreement can't be reached.

“And, more than that, it backs businesses across the country in ensuring products made in one part can be sold in another.

“That's vital for our local businesses and farmers.”

MP Nigel Evans and Sir Lindsay Hoyle did not vote due to their position as speakers of the house.

Kate Hollern, Sara Britcliffe, Andrew Stephenson and Jake Berry have been contacted for comment.

A number of Conservative former ministers have made clear they would not support any measure that breached international law, including former chancellor Sajid Javid, Andrew Mitchell and two former attorney generals, Geoffrey Cox and Jeremy Wright.

Downing Street has issued a warning to the House of Lords not to try to derail the controversial legislation which overrides key elements of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Some peers have warned it will not get through the upper chamber in its current form after the Government admitted that it would breach international law.

However, a Number 10 spokesman said ministers believed the Salisbury Convention – which states the upper chamber should not vote down legislation to implement government manifesto commitments – should apply to the Bill.