Out of touch! Bitter EU blasted for ‘blackmailing’ UK on trade – Boris urged to walk away

Brexit: Maros Sefcovic says UK needs to ‘dial down rhetoric’

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And Jayne Adye, director of Get Britain Out, has warned Brexit Minister Lord David Frost any further compromises risk “killing off Brexit entirely” – instead urging Boris Johnson to pull the plug and “walk away”. Ms Adye said: “The past two weeks have once again shown just how out of touch the European Union is when it comes to the reasons people voted to leave the EU.

“After nearly five years of negotiations, you would think they would understand our clear red lines by now, but apparently not.

“In response to the growing unrest in Northern Ireland and in an attempt to reduce the number of checks needed on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the EU has now had the temerity to suggest the UK permanently signs up to EU laws on food products and animal welfare.

“In other words, abandon being independent from the EU.

This is attempted blackmail – plain and simple

Jayne Adye

“However, even for this princely sum, the EU will only drop the majority of checks – but not all of them. This is attempted blackmail – plain and simple.”

Such an agreement would not only stop the UK from making its own rules and regulations – one of the chief reasons why the country voted for Brexit – but would also restrict the nation’s ability to sign new trade deals with other countries around the world.

Ms Adye warned: “This would effectively give the EU a VETO on any future trade deals we sign, because if the country does not meet the EU’s standards – which they could amend at any stage in the future with no input from the UK Government, then we would not be allowed to import their products.”

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The USA and Australia were just two major examples of countries with which the UK was already in detailed trade negotiations, Ms Adye pointed out.

She said: “A trade deal with Australia is even expected to be signed off next week, with their Trade Minister coming to the UK to finalise the details on Monday.

“However, if we accept this EU blackmail, then this trade deal, and all the others we have signed so far would be impossible. It is as simple as that.

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“It seems the EU’s insistence on ‘control over everything’ knows no boundaries – it is no wonder so many EU Member States are struggling to survive, including former economic superpowers like Germany.”

Referring to Lord Frost’s meeting with EU Commission Vice-President, Maros Sefcovic in Brussels yesterday, Ms Adye said: “As I see it, unless the EU is willing to totally restart negotiations on the Northern Ireland Protocol and fix the critical issues at its core, then we are wasting our time.

“More ‘amendments’ or ‘tweaks’ will not fix the problems we are experiencing, and the EU’s suggested compromises would kill off Brexit entirely.

“I would also remind everyone, the European Parliament has still not yet ratified the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement which was agreed at the end of last year and it does not look like they will do so for a number of weeks – if ever.”

Looking to the future, Ms Adye continued: “Now is the time for us to reject these broken agreements and walk away on World Trade Organisation terms.

“The Prime Minister must take these threats seriously instead of hiding behind his Ministers and traipsing around the country taking part in photo-opportunities in the lead up to the local elections!”

A statement issued by the European Commission spokesman after last night’s talks said: “The vice-president reiterated the EU’s commitment to the protocol, which is the only way to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement and to preserve peace and stability, while avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and maintaining the integrity of the EU single market.

“Only joint solutions, agreed in the joint bodies established by the Withdrawal Agreement, can provide the stability and predictability that is needed in Northern Ireland.”

The EU’s legal action against the UK for unilaterally extending a series of “grace periods” in the protocol – intended to ease its implementation – would continue for “as long as necessary”, the Commission warned.

A UK Government spokesman said Lord Frost had reiterated the UK’s commitment to working through the joint bodies provided for by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The spokesman added: “He underlined that any solutions had to be consistent with the overriding commitment to respecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimensions and to ensuring minimum disruption of everyday lives in Northern Ireland.”

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