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Johnson lashes out at EU as he clears first hurdle for Brexit treaty breach

25 Comments
By Elizabeth Piper and William James

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lashed out at the European Union on Monday as he won initial approval for a plan to breach the Brexit treaty, saying the move was needed because the bloc had refused to take a "revolver off the table" in trade talks.

Johnson won the so-called second reading parliamentary vote on the Internal Market Bill 340 to 263. A wrecking amendment was defeated shortly beforehand, though more will follow as he faces a growing rebellion in his party.

The EU says Johnson's bill would collapse trade talks and propel the United Kingdom towards a messy Brexit while former British leaders have warned that breaking the law is a step too far that undermines the country's image.

Johnson, though, said it was essential to counter "absurd" threats from Brussels including that London put up trade barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland and impose a food blockade - steps he said threatened the United Kingdom's unity.

"The EU still have not taken this revolver off the table," Johnson told parliament before the vote. "What we cannot do now is tolerate a situation where our EU counterparts seriously believe that they have the power to break up our country."

The EU has demanded Britain scrap the main parts of the bill by the end of September and that if not, there will be no trade deal at the end of the year to cover everything from car parts to food.

To back up its message, the European Commission has delayed a crucial decision on allowing London to continue clearing euro transactions for EU-based clients, a derivatives source told Reuters.

Johnson made clear that he would press ahead with the bill which he cast as a defensive insurance policy aimed at preventing a foreign power from dividing the United Kingdom by using Northern Ireland as leverage.

Many lawmakers, though, are disturbed by such an explicit bid to breach international law. All five of Britain's living former prime ministers have expressed concern about his plan.

"I understand how some people will feel unease over the use of these powers and I share that sentiment myself," Johnson said. "They are an insurance policy and if we reach agreement with our European friends, which I still believe is possible, they will never be invoked."

But some EU diplomats believe London is playing a game of chicken, inviting the collapse of trade talks to either get the deal it wants or leave without a deal.

Now the bill has passed its second reading, it will face four more days of debate on its fine print - a stage at which lawmakers can try to insert revisions that could change the entire meaning of the bill, or even kill it.

The main battleground is likely to be an attempt by Bob Neill, a Conservative lawmaker, to amend the bill to ensure any attempt to use the clauses that breach the Brexit divorce agreement receive prior approval from parliament.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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"The EU still have not taken this revolver off the table," Johnson told parliament before the vote. "What we cannot do now is tolerate a situation where our EU counterparts seriously believe that they have the power to break up our country."

Politically provocative and inflammatory, and fully intended for a domestic audience.

European banking institutions and business are setting up shell subsidiaries in London for back to back trading an obvious work around.

This essentially is a parallel transference offsetting methodology, ensuing centralization of risk/capital.

But some EU diplomats believe London is playing a game of chicken, inviting the collapse of trade talks to either get the deal it wants or leave without a deal.

Remarkable, it is delusional to believe or consider, this bill passing a second reading is some form of ploy in the negotiation process. The Internal Market Bill passed 340 to 263, that a 77 to the ayes

Johnson Government has pulled the rug right under the whole 4-year withdrawal process.

The EU commission, institutions, Michel Barnier have been well and truly politically shivved.

It is not Johnson doing, far to articulate, cogent for Johnson, look in the direction of team Cummings.

It all been timed to perfection.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"The EU still have not taken this revolver off the table," Johnson told parliament before the vote. 

As usual, the shambolic, scatter-brained PM is slow on the uptake.That's all part of the EU's cunning plan: they left it on the table so that dumb*ss Boris de Piffle can shoot himself in the other foot with it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No agreement, no trade and no travel between the UK and EU. Pretty simple. There will be a lot of hunger in UK soon, even for those with incomes and there will be a lot of people with no incomes when their employers close their doors.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

A Google search for Boris the charlatan returns 1,050,000 results.

A search for Boris the clown returns 5,470,000.

I'll take the road less travelled.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Here's Ed Milliband's BoJo rope-a-dope yesterday:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-54156794

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I love it when I can see smoke out of the ears of bureaucrats in Brussels.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Look, The Guardian hardly a fan of Johnson Government, acknowledge and accepts there are grounds to be concerned.

Brexit: how true is Boris Johnson's claim EU wants to 'cut off' part of UK?

Under the agreement, the EU’s customs code would also be enforced on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, although Northern Ireland would stay in the UK’s customs territory. This “in-out” arrangement was agreed in order to prevent a customs border being implemented on the island of Ireland.

In the event of a wider trade deal not being agreed by the EU and the UK this year, that could mean tariffs being applied to goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain if they are deemed “at risk” of entering the Republic of Ireland at a later point.         

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/14/brexit-boris-johnson-eu-uk-internal-market-bill

This is the issue. The EU commission handed Johnson the means to kill the withdrawal deal.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A Google search for Boris the charlatan returns 1,050,000 results.

A search for Boris the clown returns 5,470,000.

I'll take the road less travelled.

A Google search for Boris Johnson Prime Minister returns 67,500,000 results.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

A Google search for Boris Johnson Prime Minister returns 67,500,000 results.

Yeah, he's always been way overrated, ever since he got his first silver spoon.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A Google search for Boris the charlatan returns 1,050,000 results.

A search for Boris the clown returns 5,470,000.

You can type "Boris the (any word)" and get the same results.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No agreement, no trade and no travel between the UK and EU. Pretty simple. There will be a lot of hunger in UK soon, even for those with incomes and there will be a lot of people with no incomes when their employers close their doors.

"Nothing but coal for xmas in Britain this year!"

"There's going to be a lot of empty stomachs soon in the UK!"

Soon it will be "Can't wait to see people starve!"

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To be fair to Michel Barnier, David Frost set a trap.

Patience is a virtue, in a fit of petulant pique, Michel Barnier, stumbled. Then the trap door slammed shut.

Barnier attempted to weaponize the withdrawal agreement.

Johnson already had the Internal Market Bill cocked and loaded.

Measure the tone, “blockade” in the Irish Sea, “unfettered access”, “integrity” of the U.K.

The refusing to recognize Britain as a country from which it would accept food imports.

Frost, “It obviously makes it no easier to negotiate a good free trade agreement and the solid future relationship which we all want.”

The EU commission, the arrogance, Michel Barnier, sorry, prattling, posturing has finally come home to roust.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Barnier attempted to weaponize the withdrawal agreement.

Reading the Sun again?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are 3 million EU Citizens resident in the UK, if the withdrawal agreement. is deemed under UK law null in void?

Whatever newspaper I read, Mickelicious, can you imagine the repercussions to my staff and their extended families?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mickelicious whatever you think I am, some right-wing posturing harpy.

That could not be further than the truth. I am at heart a socialist, not the poncing Blairite, but the true socialist.

Wedded to a past seemly forgone, or forgotten.

Tony Benn, read his diaries, Peter Shore, Barbara Castle.

These stalwarts of social justice would hold Johnson and his Government to account.

One thing they all had in common was a understanding that the Eroropen Union was and is a abomination to the term

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry on the tram, finger trouble.

OK the term democracy...

Hopefully you can fit that all together

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How did Barnier 'weaponise the withdrawal agreement?'

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is a gap in the time frame between the withdrawal agreement and the proposed future relationship negotiations.

This is the rub.

Negotiation rounds on the future partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom…

https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/future-partnership/negotiation-rounds-future-partnership-between-european-union-and-united-kingdom_en

Nothing makes sense here; I have spent many days reading. I have to. Lawyers who needs them

0 ( +1 / -1 )

None of the numbers add up, this is possibly down to political necessity.

The UK, Ireland, North and South, Belgium, Northern France, Dutch and Scandinavian fishing industries will be be adversely affected. The financial implication are far worse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From Michel Barnier's report on Friday's meeting:

Similarly, we are still missing important guarantees on non-regression from social, environmental, labour and climate standards.

How long before the Brexit-voting blue areas (see link) are hit by Austerity 2? What environmental standards might GB loosen, Trump-style? And what percentage of the workforce will be Uberised?

https://www.bbc.com/news/politics/eu_referendum/results

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Nothing but coal for xmas in Britain this year!"

"There's going to be a lot of empty stomachs soon in the UK!"

Soon it will be "Can't wait to see people starve!"

UK is doing this to themselves. They chose Brexit in a referendum and then voted for the current low information tribe making these decisions by handing them a Parliamentary majority. Now it looks like the UK will knowingly and deliberately violate the Good Friday Accords in addition to the agreement they signed with the EU. Are the people of the UK in the streets protesting this? No. They either don't care or are in favor of it as far as I can see. Absent any protests one has to assume the Brits are ok with what Bojo proposes. UK has forever lost any respect I ever had for it. They are becoming as deceitful as the PRC. What Bojo proposes to do is not a whole lot different than China ramming that security law down the throats of the people of Hong Kong, then delaying the next election of their Legislative Council. If the UK does what Bojo proposes then they deserve every bad thing that can happen to them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ahh yes, the creator of the Edstone, most successful Labour leader ever (in his head)

Here's Ed Milliband's BoJo rope-a-dope yesterday:

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Mickelicious

They got those guarantees from the Maybot. That hasn't changed, EU commitments have

Similarly, we are still missing important guarantees on non-regression from social, environmental, labour and climate standards.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is the EU Citizens working in the UK that is in jeopardy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Focus EU citizens rights...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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