Boris Johnson’s EU Brexit Deal balancing on a knife-edge – Brexit News

Boris Johnson's EU Brexit Deal

Rivalry between Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson. Pic: Twitter

Brexit News – Boris Johnson’s EU Brexit Deal balancing on a knife-edge as Nicola Sturgeon attacks him and his Tory ‘Charlatans’ over their new post-Brexit bill which could lead to a no deal Brexit.

NO. 10 has denied allegations that the new post-Brexit laws surrounding customs arrangements would see an essential end to the previously agreed Withdrawal Bill between the UK and the EU.

Key aspects of the 2019 Withdrawal Bill are considered to be under threat as the new planned legislation could override agreements made on future trade and the Northern Ireland question.

Downing Street has confirmed that it would only consider making “minor clarifications in extremely specific areas” specifically relating to the Internal Market Bill.

However, the EU has stipulated that the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in its entirety was a “prerequisite for the negotiations on the future partnership.”

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced her frustrations with the latest move by the Tory government in the UK labelling them “charlatans.” She has said that the move risks collapsing trade talks between the UK and the EU which could see the UK finding itself back on the path to a ‘No Deal’ exit from the bloc.

The Northern Ireland Protocol, which was agreed as part of the Withdrawal discussions, would see the country remain following some of the EU rules once the transition period finished at the beginning of 2021.

The protocol was agreed to avoid seeing the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as agreed in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. However, the protocol was unpopular with a number of Tory backbenchers and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party as it sees a divergence of rules being followed constitutional parts of the UK.

Downing Street has expressed clearly that it is committed to fulfilling its obligations as laid out in the Withdrawal Agreement and honouring the commitments made in the Northern Ireland Protocol. However, it has also stipulated that it feels there is a necessity to have something in place to protect trade across all four constituent nations of the UK in the possible instance that the UK leaves the bloc without a trade deal in place.

The bill which is under fire by opposition parties is the Internal Market Bill. It is intended to maintain the free movement of goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK. However, there is concern of a conflict between the EU state aid rules, which will still apply to Northern Ireland, and the rules implemented in the rest of the UK.

A spokesman for the government has identified that discussions are ongoing with the EU stating that the tabled bill was a safeguard for the UK in the event of a deal not being reached by the end of the year.

He also said that the UK and EU were working hard to resolve the outstanding issues relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol whilst maintaining the validity and agreements made in Boris Johnson’s EU Brexit Deal.

“If we don’t take these steps, we face the prospect of legal confusion at the end of the year and potentially extremely damaging defaults, including tariffs on goods moving from GB to Northern Ireland.”

The EU has hit back at the bill stating that any attempt to backtrack on the withdrawal Agreement could see an end to talks on a potential trade deal.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said, “I trust the British government to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, an obligation under international law and prerequisite for any future partnership.

“[The] … protocol on Ireland-Northern Ireland is essential to protect peace and stability on the island and integrity of the single market.”

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, spoke on an interview with French radio stating the complete fulfilment of the Withdrawal Agreement was “a pre-condition for confidence between us because everything that has been signed in the past must be respected.”

Mr Johnson agreed this month in a meeting with French President, Emmanuel Macron, that importance must be placed on making progress and reaching a conclusion on talks as soon as possible.

Mr Macron tweeted that it had been a “very good discussion.”

However, Mr Johnson has reiterated assertions that should a deal not be reached by the date of the next European Council meeting, October 15, then No Deal was inevitable.

He said: “If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.

“There is still an agreement to be had. We will continue to work hard in September to achieve it. It is one based on our reasonable proposal for a standard free trade agreement like the one the EU has agreed with Canada and so many others.”

“Even at this late stage, if the EU are ready to rethink their current positions and agree this I will be delighted. But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it.”

The progress and Internal Market Bill plans by the UK government have more than riled some feathers with Nicola Sturgeon tweeting, “If true, this means repudiation by UK govt of a Treaty freely negotiated by it, and described by the Prime Minister as an ‘oven ready’ deal.

“This will significantly increase likelihood of no deal, and the resulting damage to the economy will be entirely Tory inflicted. What charlatans.”

The Scottish government’s constitution minister, Michael Russell, said, “The UK government is now hurtling towards a disastrous Brexit outcome in the midst of a deep recession and global pandemic.”

He continued, “With the likely publication of the Internal Market Bill this week, designed to allow bad trade deals to be imposed no matter the view of the Scottish people, we will see confirmed the biggest assault on devolution since the Scottish Parliament was established.

“We will, as we have made clear, oppose it at every turn. In addition, reports that the UK government is now also planning to use this legislation to renege on parts of the Withdrawal Agreement which they willingly entered into just nine months ago, are extraordinary and will not only consolidate opposition across these islands but will also alienate the European Union, further increasing the likelihood of the current talks collapsing.”

Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, concerned by the potential for a No Deal Brexit, tweeted: “This would be a very unwise way to proceed.”

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Louise Haigh said: “It beggars’ belief that the government is – yet again – playing a dangerous game in Northern Ireland and sacrificing our international standing at the altar of the Prime Minister’s incompetence.”

The Bill is due before the House of Commons today.

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Chris Kidd

Chris has spent a colourful and varied international career in the Arts followed by a substantial career in Education. Having moved to Spain in 2019 for a different pace and quality of life with his fiancé, he has now taken up a new and exciting role working with the online department of Euro Weekly News. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page