More than four years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the UK has been engulfed in another Brexit crisis – with a dramatic move by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to potentially rewrite parts of the original divorce deal, sparking outrage and threats of legal action. from EU leaders.
The UK officially left the bloc in January after revoking a withdrawal agreement with the EU in 2019. This technical deviation marks the beginning of a transitional period, as the two countries developed a free trade agreement after the transition expires in late 2020.
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But as these talks stalle, Johnson̵
The agreement included a protocol from Northern Ireland, which aimed to prevent a hard land border between Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) and Ireland (EU member.) The agreement meant that there would be some EU regulations and checks on goods going from and from the rest of Great Britain from Northern Ireland. The new internal market bill will allow the UK government to replace these rules if there is no free trade deal.
Johnson, published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, said the bill was in response to the EU’s threat to “impose a large-scale trade border down the Irish Sea” unless the UK agrees to its terms of a free trade deal.
We are told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from the UK to Northern Ireland, but that they can actually stop the transport of food from the UK to Northern Ireland, “he said, adding that it was” vital “Turn this option off.
The move has drawn strong criticism in Britain, even from Johnson’s own party, which has accused the government of threatening to abandon an international treaty.
Sajid Javid, a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he would not vote on the bill because “I cannot support the UK’s preventive denial” of the agreement with the EU. Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major have also spoken out against the move.
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As the bill was tabled for a second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, Johnson sought to reassure lawmakers that the bill’s powers are only a last resort.
“I have absolutely no desire to use these measures,” Johnson said. “They are an insurance policy.”
Ed Miliband, a business secretary in the shadow of the opposition Labor Party, accused Johnson of “ruining the country’s reputation and tarnishing the reputation of his office”.
Due to the strong presence of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, the bill was passed at second reading – but 27 members broke with the party’s whips and abstained. The Times in London reported that other Tory MPs had warned they would vote against the government and try to change the law when it appeared before the General Affairs Committee next week.
The move sparked anger in both Brussels and Washington, where Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed concern that Johnson’s move could jeopardize the 1998 Good Friday peace treaty. She said that if that were the case, it would not there is a “chance” for a trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Johnson backed away, saying the EU’s interpretation would undermine the Union and threaten peace in Northern Ireland, not the British response.
If it becomes law, the EU threatens possible legal action against the UK Following crisis talks last week, the European Commission said Vice President Maros Sefcovic “reminded the UK government that the Withdrawal Agreement contains a number of mechanisms and remedies to protect violations of the United Kingdom.” the legal obligations contained in the text – which the European Union will not be ashamed to use ‘.
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Negotiations are due to resume this week in Brussels, despite controversy. Both sides said the deal should be negotiated by next month, with Johnson threatening to withdraw from the talks if the deal is not reached by mid-October.
Without a deal, tariffs and other restrictions will almost certainly be imposed by both sides early next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.