Parliament returned from its holiday recess a little over a week ago, and the new bill, titled the Universal Corporation Embargo Act, was one of Liberal Democratic leader François Tremblay's priorities for the new session.
The bill was quickly written and was submitted to a vote last night, where it passed on party lines in the six-member legislature.
Recently promoted to the newly-created office of Speaker, Tremblay spearheaded the legislation and brought it to a successful vote.
"The Universal Corporation has clearly shown that it does not want to face the consequences of attempting to meddle in our elections. If the Corporation's executives will not cooperate with the investigation of a criminal offense, then why should they enjoy the benefits of our economy?" said Tremblay.
Tremblay added that his party was "more than willing" to repeal the embargo once Universal agrees to work with Lego Republic authorities.
All four of the Liberal Democratic members of Parliament voted in favor of the bill, which bans all trade with the Universal Corporation. The company's products will not be allowed through customs, and Lego Republic businesses are barred from shipping Universal products. The Republic's banks are also prohibited from giving Universal loans or aiding the corporation in any way. It was also made illegal for Lego Republic citizens to purchase Universal Corporation products online, and any purchases made abroad will not be permitted to enter the country. Stores and other businesses in the Lego Republic are also banned from partnering with the Universal Corporation, selling its products, or buying products from the Legopolis-based business.
In addition, any Universal Corporation assets in Lego Republic banks have been frozen until the company cooperates with investigators. Universal has attempted to avoid responsibility for its alleged role in the scandal since it erupted. On December 23, the company denied all wrongdoing, and the executive accused of sending the illegal funds, Vito Fontana, declared that the charges levied against him were "fictitious." On December 5, Fontana's office and all of its contents were mysteriously destroyed in a fire, only days after the Lego Republic Department of Justice began working with Legopolis authorities. It seems likely that Universal was tipped off by someone within the Legopolis government, according to a confidential source at the Department of Justice, who could not be named due to job security concerns.
The two Conservative members voted in opposition to the embargo, claiming that it would harm international trade and the Lego Republic's economy. However, the Universal Corporation does very little business in the Republic, so the embargo's predicted effect is more symbolic than anything else.
"This embargo is nothing more than another Liberal Democratic plot to destroy our economy," declared Conservative leader and former presidential candidate Francis David. "Vito Fontana has already turned himself in to Lego Republic authorities, and further action against the Universal Corporation is not needed."
David was joined in his opposition to the bill by his Conservative colleague Pauline Durham.
The bill now heads to President Bricks's desk, where she will either sign or veto it. Bricks is believed to support the bill, but a veto could be issued if she decides that the embargo is too extreme of a response. A veto could be overridden by a vote of five out of six members of Parliament.