The British government on Wednesday published a bill that partially revises its commitments in the context of Brexit, in alleged violations of international law, which angered the European Union.
Complicated negotiations in sight. The British government in Boris Johnson will present a bill on the United Kingdom’s organization on Wednesday, 9 September, following its withdrawal from the European Union. It is already creating tensions in the country and risks further complicating the Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson explained to MPs, which was published at noon on Wednesday. As regards special customs arrangements in Northern Ireland, they are intended to facilitate trade within the United Kingdom after the post – Brexit transition period, which will end at the end of December.
But by withdrawing a document that has the status of an international treaty, this text violates “international law in a very specific and limited way”, through its own recognition of the Minister responsible for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis.
London publishes controversial bill for Brexit agreement
The British bill “would violate international law and undermine trust” between the two parties, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. This surprising turnaround in London is fueling the fire in the already painful negotiations with the European Union on a post-Brexit trade agreement. It exposes London to “serious consequences” from Brussels, warned European Parliament President David Sassoli.
Germany is “waiting” for the United Kingdom to “fully” implement the Brexit deal, which London intends to change, German government spokeswoman Maria Adebahr also said on Wednesday.
For his part, Levice-Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar compared the British government’s maneuver to a “kamikaze” act, which “turned” on him by causing a wave of negative reactions.
Boris Johnson was also criticized in his own camp, including by former Prime Minister Theresa May, and defended his project before MPs during the weekly questions to the Prime Minister. The leader of the Scottish separatists from the SNP in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford, accused him of wanting to create a “rogue state” and that he considered himself “above the law”.
Post-Brexit negotiations: London publishes controversial business proposal
Michel Barnier wants clarifications
At the same time as the government is defending its maneuver, it is piloting an eighth session with very sensitive negotiations with the EU, which began on Tuesday and will last until Thursday. Arriving in London, EU negotiator Michel Barnier will seek clarification on the latest developments.
“We are in a constructive spirit, but firm on the content,” said French Foreign Minister Clément Beaune in a joint meeting with his German counterpart Michael Roth in Berlin.
The original text, the Northern Ireland Protocol, aims to guarantee the absence of a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, and to prevent the resurgence of tensions in this blood-stained region. through three decades of “unrest” until the signing of the Friday agreement on Good Friday 1998. The return of customs controls has raised fears of renewed tensions in the British province.
It is about “protecting our country from the extreme or irrational interpretation of the protocol, which could lead to a border in the Irish Sea in a way that, in my opinion, would harm the interests of the Good Friday Agreement and harm the peace interests of our country”, argued Boris Johnson.
Uncertain free trade
The United Kingdom formally left the EU on 31 January, almost four years after a milestone referendum marking the end of 46 years of rocky marriage, but remaining governed by EU rules until the end of December, a period of transition during which both parties try enter into a free trade agreement. The outcome of these talks is still uncertain.
Before the start of the eighth talks, British negotiator David Frost called on the EU to “be more realistic about its status as an independent country” in the UK. Negotiations stumble especially on fishing and conditions. even competition. Time is up, Brussels wants an agreement at the end of October to enable ratification in time.
For his part, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that due to a lack of compromise at the European summit on 15 October, he would be content with a “no deal”, despite the risks of economic damage during a period of historic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With AFP and Reuters