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Boris Johnson accuses the EU of trying to breach the UK's "territorial integrity"


Boris Johnson accuses the EU of attempting to disrupt the UK's "territorial integrity" by "blocking" the Irish Sea.

The Prime Minister said Brussels could "tear our country apart" and "seriously jeopardize peace and stability in Northern Ireland" if Tory MPs do not support the controversial laws to override parts of its Brexit deal.

Mr Johnson is working to suppress a bill amendment plan from high-profile Tories – who are outraged that disregarding the Withdrawal Agreement could violate international law.

Mr Johnson held a conference call with backers on Friday evening to seek support for the bill that led Brussels to threaten legal action – and reportedly warned senior conservatives not to "return to the miserable, contentious days of last autumn" .

The EU has said the move is a serious breach of trust and has threatened to take legal action if Mr Johnson does not change UK internal market law by the end of the month.

The prime minister has doubled over, arguing it is "vital to peace and the Union itself," saying a rejection would reduce the chances of a trade deal with the EU.

But it turned out last night that Mr Johnson was pursuing a potential olive branch with Brussels in which he would drop the controversial plans if a deal on Northern Ireland could be negotiated.

Tensions between the UK and the EU have increased in recent days after Boris Johnson announced that he would be repealing parts of the Brexit divorce deal

In a letter to the Telegraph, Mr Johnson said: “We are now hearing that if we do not agree to EU terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland Protocol to impose a full trade frontier along the Irish Sea.

“We are told that not only will the EU impose tariffs on goods transported from the UK to Northern Ireland, but they may also stop the transport of food from UK to NI.

“I have to say that we never seriously believed that the EU would be ready to use a good faith treaty to block and cut off part of the UK. or that they would actually threaten to destroy the UK's economic and territorial integrity. "

PM TRIES TO DRUM SUPPORT FOR HIS CONTROVERSIAL BREXIT BILL AT TORY DISQUIET

Boris Johnson has called on Conservative MPs to support laws that could violate international law if they override parts of his Brexit deal amid concerns over rebellion.

The prime minister hosted a conference call with backers on Friday evening to seek support for the law that led Brussels to threaten legal action.

Mr Johnson told around 250 MPs that controversial clauses in the UK's Single Market Act "are necessary to prevent a foreign power from disintegrating our country" and that there is still a good chance of reaching a trade deal with the EU.

Since senior conservatives were planning to change the legislation, he reportedly warned them not to "return to the miserable, contentious days of last autumn".

However, during the call, which had connectivity issues and no questions were asked by Mr Johnson, there were further clashes from within the EU.

The European Parliament's Heads of State or Government said they would "under no circumstances ratify a trade agreement" if "the UK authorities violated or threatened the withdrawal agreement".

Mr Johnson did not appear to have ended the turmoil within his party during the call, and senior backbencher Sir Bob Neill said he was not reassured by the speech.

Sir Bob, who chairs the Commons Justice Committee and tabled an amendment to the bill that he believed would impose a "parliamentary lockdown" on amendments to the withdrawal agreement, still claims that it contains "objectionable" elements.

"I think it is potentially a harmful act for this country, it would damage our reputation and I think it will make it more difficult to make trade deals in the future," he told Channel 4 News.

Downing Street insisted that a post-Brexit free trade agreement with the EU was still possible despite an increasingly bitter war of words with Brussels.

The European Commission gave the UK a chance by the end of the month to drop laws allowing ministers to override provisions of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland.

After a stormy meeting in London on Thursday, the Commission warned the UK of putting trade talks at risk and said it was "not shy" to take legal action.

However, the Prime Minister's official spokesman reiterated the government's position that the provisions of the law remain "critical" to the maintenance of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

He said the UK would continue to strive for an agreement and urged the EU to show more "realism".

Amid the deteriorating atmosphere between London and Brussels, it emerged that the EU had even raised the prospect of blocking exports of animal products from the UK once the current transition period to Brexit ends at the end of the year.

In a statement following the last round of talks on Thursday, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there was "a lot of uncertainty" about the UK's animal hygiene system.

He said "more clarity" is needed if the UK is to receive the "third country list" authorizing it to export animal products to the EU.

On the UK side, the comments were surprising as the UK continues to apply EU standards, although it is believed that the issue has already been raised in the negotiations.

A government spokesman said: "It would be very unusual for the EU to go down this path and refuse to be listed in the UK."

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown, along with former Prime Ministers Mrs. May and Sir John Major, condemned the government's plan, describing it as "a great act of self-harm".

"You cannot expect decent negotiations with the European Union if you first break a treaty that you signed yourself and negotiated only a few weeks ago," he told ITV's Good Morning Britain.

Irish Europe Minister Thomas Byrne said Britain’s actions, far from protecting the Good Friday Agreement, posed a "serious risk" to the peace process.

“It's a totally unacceptable way of doing business.

"It was a one-way provocative act," he told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

MEPs have warned that the European Parliament will block any trade deal with Britain if Boris Johnson breaks his Brexit deal.

Leaders in Brussels said the Prime Minister's UK Internal Market Act was a "grave and unacceptable violation of international law" that was threatening trade negotiations.

A statement added: “Should the UK authorities breach or threaten to breach the Withdrawal Agreement through the UK Internal Market Act, as it is currently or otherwise, the European Parliament will under no circumstances ratify an agreement between the EU and the UK. & # 39;

Tensions between the UK and Brussels have increased in recent days after Mr Johnson revealed plans to tear apart pieces of the original Brexit divorce deal.

The EU has given Mr Johnson until the end of the month to withdraw his proposals to repeal elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, with the bloc threatening legal action if it fails to comply.

Brussels has also made it clear that the future of trade talks is threatened with collapse unless Mr Johnson does an about-face – but Michael Gove has vowed the government will not change course.

Mr Johnson now says that he has learned "in the past few weeks" that his negotiators have determined that there is "a potentially serious misunderstanding about the terms" of the withdrawal agreement he signed in October.

Mr Johnson argued that during "hot" days it was agreed that the deadline for a deal would approach quickly while "one hand behind our backs was negotiated" because Parliament blocked a no-deal.

"If we don't pass this bill or weaken its protection, we will actually reduce the chances of getting this Canadian-style deal," he wrote.

“Let us remove this threat to the UK structure.

“Let's let the EU take its threats off the table.

"And let's get this bill through, support our negotiators, and protect our country."

But both Ireland and the EU have warned that Mr Johnson's plans pose a serious risk to the peace process rather than protecting the Good Friday Agreement.

Government sources indicated that the prime minister might be ready to change direction if a deal on Northern Ireland could be reached.

One told the Times, “The expectation is that we in the joint committee will be able to resolve these issues.

“We hope against hope that we never have to go there.

“And if an agreement were to be reached in the Joint Committee, we would not have to exercise these powers. We could cross them off the bill. & # 39;

The prime minister held a conference call with around 250 MPs last night to rally support for the bill and warned them of a return to the "miserable, contentious days of last autumn".

However, during the call, which had connectivity issues and no questions were asked by Mr Johnson, there were further clashes from within the EU.

The European Parliament's Heads of State or Government said they would "under no circumstances ratify a trade agreement" if "the UK authorities violated or threatened the withdrawal agreement".

Mr Johnson did not appear to have ended the turmoil within his party during the call, and senior backbencher Sir Bob Neill said he was not reassured by the speech.

Sir Bob, who chairs the Commons Justice Committee and tabled an amendment to the bill that he believed would impose a "parliamentary lockdown" on amendments to the withdrawal agreement, still claims that it contains "objectionable" elements.

"I think it is potentially a harmful act for this country, it would damage our reputation and I think it will make it harder to get trade deals in the future," he told Channel 4 News.

Amid the deteriorating atmosphere between London and Brussels, it emerged that the EU had even raised the prospect of blocking exports of animal products from the UK once the current transition period to Brexit ends at the end of the year.

In a statement following the last round of talks on Thursday, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said there was "a lot of uncertainty" about the UK's animal hygiene system.

He said "more clarity" is needed if the UK is to receive the "third country list" authorizing it to export animal products to the EU.

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown, along with former Prime Ministers Theresa May and Sir John Major, condemned the government's plan, describing it as "a great act of self-harm".

It comes after the European Union hinted it could ban UK food exports to the bloc if both sides don't reach a trade deal by the end of the year.

Michel Barnier said there was still "a lot of uncertainty" about the UK's default regime after Brexit and that "more clarity was needed" for Brussels to agree to continue UK exports of food and livestock.

Trade talks between the UK and Brussels will continue before the end of the transition period in December.

But Mr Johnson is facing a rebellion of up to 30 Tory MPs seeking to give Parliament the opportunity to veto any attempt by the Prime Minister to deviate from the divorce deal.

The scale of the Tory backlash to his plans has led the Prime Minister to invite every Conservative MP to a private Zoom mass appeal tonight where he will answer questions to ease the mounting anger.

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown said today that Mr. Johnson's plans were "a great act of self-harm".

The former prime minister argued that the government's strategy appears to be based on the belief that a "desperate" EU will eventually step down, but said that such a belief was "wrong" and that the bloc would actually be more likely to step in.

It comes after the European Union hinted it could ban UK food exports to the bloc if the two sides don't reach a trade deal by the end of the year

It comes after the European Union hinted it could ban UK food exports to the bloc if both sides don't reach a trade deal by the end of the year

The dispute over the Prime Minister's Brexit plans came when International Trade Minister Liz Truss announced that a free trade agreement between Britain and Japan had in principle been secured.

Ms. Truss said it was Britain's first big business as an independent trading nation and it would increase trade with Japan by an estimated £ 15.2 billion.

In a statement by Mr Barnier following the conclusion of the final round of Brexit talks yesterday, he said: “There are also many uncertainties about the UK sanitary and phyto-sanitary regime as of January 1, 2021.

Great Britain signs the first trade deal with Japan after Brexit

Ministers were urged to redouble efforts to reach a post-Brexit free trade agreement with the EU after the government announced it had signed an agreement with Japan.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said it was a "historic moment" for the two countries that would bring "new profits" to British companies.

However, Labor said it was important to put the deal in perspective, stressing that while the deal was "welcome" the net benefit would be only 0.07 percent of UK GDP.

The deal comes about after hopes of a trade deal between the UK and the EU are faltering after Brussels demanded that the UK abandon plans to override key elements of the readmission agreement.

Shadow International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry said: & # 39; Trade with Japan accounted for 2.21 percent of our total worldwide last year. According to the best-case scenario proposed by the government, the overall agreement will only increase by 0.07 percentage points each year under today's agreement. simply maintain the level of growth seen since 2015 and retain the projected benefits of the current EU-Japan deal.

& # 39; All of this is comparable to the 47 percent of our world trade that we currently have with the EU.

& # 39; As necessary as this agreement is, the government's overriding priority must be to secure the oven-ready deal with Europe they have promised, which Japanese companies like Nissan have said will secure the future of investment and jobs, which they bring is of vital importance to the UK. & # 39;

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the deal was "undoubtedly a cause for celebration", but securing a free trade agreement with the EU "remains vital to the future of businesses in the UK".

"More clarity is needed for the EU to assess the UK listing in third countries."

The so-called “third country listing” of the United Kingdom by the EU is necessary in order to enable the further export of agricultural goods.

It was seen as a formality that the UK would get the listing even if a trade agreement was not reached, as the two sides currently have food standards on this.

Mr Barnier's proposal to withhold the listing is seen by some in Whitehall as a move by the EU to put pressure on Mr Johnson to drop his plans to move away from parts of the withdrawal agreement.

A government spokesman said: “The export law is the absolute basis for a relationship between two countries that trade in agricultural goods.

& # 39; It is a license for export and completely independent of the issue of food standards. It would be very unusual for the EU to go this route and reject the UK listing. & # 39;

It came when Mr Brown became the third former Prime Minister today to criticize Mr Johnson's Brexit plans after Sir John Major and Theresa May also attacked the current inmate of Number 10.

The former Labor leader told BBC Radio 4 Today: “This is a tremendous act of self-harm. We knew there was a debate about fisheries and state aid, but the argument about breaking an international treaty exploding has been condemned by so many people.

"If I had done that when I was Prime Minister, the Conservatives would have accused me of violating the rule of law, they would have thrown everything at us and said, 'You can have an international treaty that you signed just a few weeks ago, and you do not ignore negotiated '.

“But I think this is part of a strategy that I believe is going wrong on the part of the government.

& # 39; They think that they will have a European Council on October 16 and that they can persuade Angela Merkel to step in instead of Barnier. They think they can get a deal because people are going to be desperate.

"I don't think it will work that way because I myself think that Angela Merkel will probably be even more determined to adhere to the rule of law."

Mr Brown said he feared that by the end of the transition period in December the UK would sign a "minimalist" trade deal that the EU would scrap if the UK fails to honor its commitments.

"What I fear is that we will actually get a deal, but it is a minimalist deal that now has no tariffs, but if you break the level playing field … then we as the European Union will intervene," he said .

The most recent dispute with the EU was sparked by the publication of the UK government's single market law.

Legislation, which the government hopes to tumble through the House of Commons in the next two weeks, will allow the UK to unilaterally take decisions on key issues such as: B. Customs arrangements between Mainland UK and Northern Ireland contained in the Take Back Agreement.

Brussels firmly believes that decisions must be taken by a joint committee made up of people from both sides.

The government has admitted that its proposals will violate international law, infuriating both Mr Johnson's political opponents and those behind Tory.

Conservative MPs are now planning to try to change the legislation to give parliament a veto on any attempt by the prime minister to override the withdrawal agreement.

Michel Barnier, pictured in London, has hinted that the EU could ban UK food exports to the bloc if both sides fail to sign a trade deal

Michel Barnier, pictured in London, has hinted that the EU could ban UK food exports to the bloc if both sides fail to sign a trade deal

Michel Barnier arrives at St Pancras station in London on September 11th after a round of negotiations between the UK government and the EU

Michel Barnier arrives at St Pancras station in London on September 11th after a round of negotiations between the UK government and the EU

Sir Bob Neill, the Tory chairman of the Justice Select Committee, tabled the amendment and reports suggest he may be supported by up to 30 of his Conservative colleagues.

Sir Bob told Times Radio: “We are not natural rebels. We have all served as ministers, we know this is a serious job, and we do our best to take the job seriously. So we don't do this lightly.

“I hope it is at least an indication as a government that you really need to think very carefully and carefully about going this path. For God's sake, try to find another way. & # 39;

The rebellion against Mr Johnson's administration on Brexit has previously resulted in Tory MPs being stripped of the party whip.

However, a government source told The Times that this would not be the case if there was a rebellion on UK Single Market Law. The source said "we are not in the same place" as before on Brexit matters.

Even if the bill makes it through the Commons, there are big question marks about whether it will survive the House of Lords, where peers are angry at plans to knowingly violate international law.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick, a former Tory Chancellor and Brexiteer, said there was no way that peers would approve the legislation.

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