Boris Johnson wants to unilaterally skip the withdrawal agreement from the European Union signed by himself with the 27. The same agreement that led the United Kingdom to leave the EU on January 31 and which provides for a transition period until January 31 December dedicated to negotiating the commercial agreement that will regulate the future relationship between the two parties from January 1. But for that, the negotiations that are underway and precisely this week in person in London, should bear fruit.
But not only are they not bearing fruit, but in the last 48 hours they are completely derailing by the British intention to skip what was signed. It was announced by the Financial Times this Sunday, and the British Government has ratified it this Tuesday in the Westminster Parliament when the Minister for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, has affirmed about the British intentions to skip the Northern Ireland protocol in the legislation on customs that will be published this Wednesday: “Yes, this breaks international law in a very specific and limited way.”RELATED
The British newspaper revealed that the British Government planned to pass new legislation that would nullify parts of the UK’s exit agreement from the EU. London wants to clarify the commitment to apply the European regulation on state aid in relation to the trade of goods in Northern Ireland. Likewise, it calls into question the clause that requires Northern Irish companies to fill out export forms when sending goods to the island of Great Britain, reports Efe.
The approval of this new internal market law – which is expected on Wednesday – could blow up negotiations this week.
“I am confident that the British Government will implement the Withdrawal Agreement, an obligation under international law and a prerequisite for any future partnership. The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland is essential to protecting peace and stability on the island and the integrity of the single market, “the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, responded on Monday.
Will the EU leave the table if the UK passes any laws that violate the Northern Ireland protocol? “This is a matter of trust. The signed Withdrawal Agreement, and in particular the Northern Ireland protocol, is a prerequisite, a precondition for negotiations on the future relationship, and I think this is clear,” said the European Commission spokesman for Brexit, Daniel Ferrie.
The EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, has also insisted that canceling parts of what has already been signed would be unacceptable.
Former French European Affairs Minister, and member of the European Parliament’s Brexit committee, Nathalie Loiseau (En Marche / Renew), has criticized the attitude of the Johnson Government: “The British Minister for Northern Ireland recognizes that his Government has the intention to violate international law, but ‘in a limited and specific way.’ We violate or respect the law, fully and not half; just as we cannot be half pregnant. “
A few hours before the intervention of Minister Brandon Lewis, the head of the legal department of the British Government, Jonathan Jones, has resigned due to his discrepancies with the intention of the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to alter the Brexit agreement. According to sources close to Jones consulted by the Financial Times, the legal adviser is “very sad” by the intention of the Executive to pass new legislation to regulate the internal market that would annul aspects of the agreement with the EU, especially those referring to the situation in Ireland from North.
It is the sixth departure of a senior official this year due to his differences with the Conservative government.
According to diplomatic cables from the EU published by The Guardian this Friday, confidence is low in Brussels in relation to the Boris Johnson government and the negotiations to reach a post-Brexit deal. Thus, the EU suspects that the United Kingdom refuses to give in on the most contentious issues, such as access to the Community fishing fleet in British waters, until the last moment in order to take full advantage of the current negotiation. This strategy has been described by the team working with the community negotiator, Michel Barnier, as “worrying”, due to the complexity of the issues to be resolved.
The European Commission also fears, according to information from the Guardian, that the British Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, will try to bypass Brussels and open, in parallel, negotiations on security matters with ministers of the large EU countries at a meeting in London September 22. Community officials have asked those countries not to reach any agreement on the possible proposals that the United Kingdom may make in matters of security.
The United Kingdom has also introduced a new “concept” on fisheries into the negotiations by classifying the country’s quotas in British waters as “priority stocks”, given that this is one of the major claims of the UK. British fishermen mainly advocates of Brexit.
The European Commission fears that the Johnson Executive is behind a series of anti-EU articles published in the British press, accusing Brussels of intransigence in the talks on the Brexit agreement.
Brussels hoped to close an agreement in October so that the parties have time to ratify it, in a process that can last 11 weeks, so that it enters into force on January 1, after having proposed in vain an extension of the transition period that Johnson discarded. The same Johnson who has given this Sunday a kind of ultimatum until October 15 to reach an agreement with the European Union (EU) on Brexit. “There has to be an agreement with our European friends before the European Council of October 15 if it is to come into force before the end of the year,” said the head of the British Government in a statement: “It does not make sense to think in terms that go further. If we don’t agree by then, I don’t think there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should accept it and turn the page. “