Boris SCRAPS Commons Brexit masterplan announcement as he issues trade war warning to EU

[view original post]

Liz Truss has introduced a Bill tackling frictions caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol this afternoon. The Prime Minister ordered the Foreign Secretary to draw up new laws earlier this year after a failure to find a compromise in talks with the EU.

It had widely been expected Ms Truss would update MPs in the Commons when unveiling the proposals.

Many MPs and influential Brexit figures, including Lord Frost, had said they would wait to hear the statement before passing judgment on the Government’s plans.

But the legislation has been published online with Ms Truss releasing an accompanying statement instead.

The controversial Bill will give the UK the power to scrap elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol without the consent of Brussels.


The EU has threatened to respond by launching legal action and by imposing countermeasures, such as tariffs if the Bill passes through Parliament.

Their response risks sparking a trade war with the UK.

Warning Brussels to pull back from the brink during the current cost of living crisis, Mr Johnson said the EU’s threats would be a “gross, gross overreaction” if carried through.

“All we are trying to do is simplify things, actually, to remove the barriers to trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” added when speaking to LBC Radio.

As part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement in 2019, the UK agreed a deal that effectively kept Northern Ireland in the EU single market and customs union to preserve the open border with Ireland specified in the Good Friday peace agreement.

But Unionists argue Brussels’ strict implementation of customs checks on goods crossing from Britain to Northern Ireland is having a disastrous impact on trade within the UK’s internal market.

READ MORE: UK could face wrath of retaliatory tariffs from EU over NI Protocol

The EU and anti-Brexit MPs have claimed the Bill breaks international law as it alters a treaty without the support of both partners to the agreement.

Speaking today, the Irish premier, Micheal Martin, said relations between the UK and EU were at a “new low”.

“It’s very regrettable for a country like the UK to renege on an international treaty,” he said.

“I think it represents a new low point because the natural expectation of democratic countries like ourselves, the UK and all across Europe is that we honour international agreements that we enter into.”

Labour has vowed to oppose the plan in Parliament and is set to be joined by a number of pro-EU Tories looking to scupper Mr Johnson’s plan to resolve the row with the EU once and for all.

Ministers have rejected suggestions they are breaching international law.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told Sky News yesterday: “What we’re going to do is lawful and it is correct.

“We will be setting out our legal position on this.

“People will see that what we’re proposing resolves the key issues within the Protocol that don’t work.”

Giving a brief outline of what to expect in the Bill last month, Ms Truss said the legislation would propose a “green channel” for goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland.

It would include measures to impose heavy fines on those smuggling goods into the EU’s single market via the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic in the south.

The legislation would also scrap rules which prevent the province from benefiting from tax assistance and end the role of the European Court of Justice as sole arbiter.

Ministers believe their plan addresses the concerns of the EU while also protecting the integrity of the UK.

Britain says it still remains committed to finding a negotiated solution with Brussels and that the legislation will be kept purely as a safeguard measure.