Brexiteer slams PM over 'declaration of surrender' to EU
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Brexit Watch’s Ben Habib has lashed out at Boris Johnson’s apparent rowing back on plans to break with the Brexit treaty governing trade between the EU, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. Mr Habib believes the Prime Minister is running scared of reprisals from Brussels amid a growing mood in Westminister that the problems with the Protocol must be addressed. Mr Johson was called out by Mr Habib for not imposing a deadline on removing customs checks under Article 16 to end the protocol unilaterally.
Mr Habib told TalkTV: “There is no explanation for it other than the Prime Minister fears the EU and he fears their reprisals.
“That can be the only explanation, and you know, his article, sorry to go back to briefly but his article is basically a declaration of surrender on the Protocol.
“It’s a very long article he wrote, but that’s effectively what he was saying on Monday.
“But you’re so right, Julia, all the conditions have been met to suspend the Protocol under Article 16, and when you have the right as the Government to suspend the Protocol, you are obliged to suspend the protocol.”
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He continued: “Because you only gain that right because Northern Ireland is suffering, you’re acting in gross dereliction of duty
“So we have a government that recognises the need to take action, but sits on its hands and won’t do it for fear of what the EU might then do in return.
“We have a government that fears taking control, of taking control of taking back control.
“This is a government that stood on a platform to take back control, but it fears doing it and it’s deeply distressing to behold.”
European Union lambasts Boris Johnson over NI 'clarity'
The EU has threatened to retaliate with “all measures at its disposal” if the UK proceeds with controversial plans to rip up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Foreign Secretary has set out her intention to bring forward legislation within weeks, overwriting parts of the post-Brexit deal, freeing goods destined to stay within the UK from EU-level checks.
Liz Truss told the Commons the move was needed to reduce “unnecessary bureaucracy” and to protect the Good Friday Agreement, arguing that the EU’s proposals “would go backward from the situation we have today”.
She said the Bill would take measures to protect the EU single market by implementing “robust penalties” for those who “seek to abuse the new system”.
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But European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic criticised her plan and warned that Brussels could retaliate.
Should the UK proceed with the Bill, the EU will respond with “all measures at its disposal”, he said.
This is likely to aggravate fears the move could spark a trade war with the bloc.
The legislation will propose separate “green” and “red” lanes for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, drawing a line between those destined to stay within the UK and those heading to the Republic of Ireland and beyond.
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