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Montevideo, September 20th 2020 - 20:32 UTC

 

 

Johnson promoting the idea that if UK/EU talks don't advance, “both sides should accept it and move on”, says FT

Monday, September 7th 2020 - 07:43 UTC
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The planned legislation, according to FT would ratchet up tension between the two sides by attempting to undo some of the elements of the Withdrawal Agreement The planned legislation, according to FT would ratchet up tension between the two sides by attempting to undo some of the elements of the Withdrawal Agreement

The British government is planning legislation that will override key parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, risking the collapse of trade negotiations with Brussels, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Sections of the internal market bill, due to be published on Wednesday, are expected to “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement” in areas including state aid and Northern Ireland customs, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the plans.

A source told the FT that the move could “clearly and consciously” undermine the agreement on Northern Ireland that Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed last October to avoid a return to a hard border in the region.

The move comes as Britain and the European Union resume talks on a trade deal, with Mr Johnson saying on Sunday that if an agreement is not reached by Oct 15, both sides should “accept that and move on”.

If the sticking point of fisheries and state aid cannot be resolved and a deal agreed, Britain would have a trading relationship with the bloc like Australia’s, which would be “a good outcome”, Mr Johnson said.

The planned legislation, as reported by the Financial Times, would ratchet up tension between the two sides by attempting to undo some of the elements of the Withdrawal Agreement signed earlier this year, including those relating to the border between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

The move was condemned by parties on both sides of the Irish border. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who played a key role in negotiating the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland protocol, said on Twitter that the reported move “would be a very unwise way to proceed.”

Senior members of Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fein and SDLP parties, the region’s two largest Irish nationalist groups, also criticized the British government’s plan, as reported by the newspaper.

Britain has set a deadline of Oct 15 to strike a free-trade deal with the European Union, and if none is agreed both sides should “accept that and move on,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say on Monday (Sept 6).

Britain left the EU on Jan 31 but there has been little progress on a new trade deal after a status-quo transition arrangement ends in December. Talks, which have stalled over Britain's insistence that it has full autonomy over state aid and fishing, are due to resume in London on Tuesday.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said an agreement on trade needed to be reached urgently and he blamed the stalemate on Britain's attitude. Mr Johnson will say there is no sense in thinking about timelines beyond Oct 15.

“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,” he will say, according to comments released by his office.

If no deal is agreed, Britain would have a trading relationship with the bloc like Australia's, which would be “a good outcome”, Johnson will say.

UK Brexit negotiator David Frost said on Sunday Britain was not scared of a no-deal exit at the end of the year.

Mr Johnson will say there is still a deal to be had based on a standard free trade agreement if the EU is ready to rethink its current position. “But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it,” he will say.

Top Comments

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  • Guillote

    brexit means brexit
    but when and how nobody knows.
    after four years hehe
    typical UK referendum.

    Sep 09th, 2020 - 02:31 am 0
  • Think

    Interesting development...

    - The Nation that sovereignly holds the undisputed World Record in broken International Treaties & Agrrements is doing it AGAIN...!

    - They just announced that they are seriously considering pulling out of the EU Withdrawal Agreement..., wich they solemnly signed last year in front of thei 28 EU Ex-Partners and the whole World Press....

    Geeeeeeeeeeee..., I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv when them Brutish Engrish Pirates show their true face...!

    Capisce...?

    Sep 07th, 2020 - 12:44 pm -1
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