Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday accused the European Union of threatening a food blockade of the country if it failed to agree to the ‘divorce’ terms imposed by Brussels. “We are now hearing that, unless we agree to the EU’s terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish Sea,” the British prime minister wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Telegraph

The threat of a blockade is meant to intimidate Britons into submission, the British prime minister said. He doubted Brussels’ resolve to take on Europe’s second largest economy. “I have to say that we never seriously believed the EU would be willing to use a treaty, negotiated in good faith, to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off; or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK,” Johnson explained

Johnson vowed to thwart any attempt by the EU to tear the country apart. “We cannot leave the theoretical power to carve up our country – to divide it – in the hands of an international organisation,” he said.

Reuters news agency reported British prime minister’s comments:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accused the European Union of threatening to impose a trade border down the Irish Sea and a food blockade between Britain and Northern Ireland unless the bloc’s terms for a future relationship were agreed. (…)

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Johnson said he had become “anxious” in the last few weeks that the EU might have misunderstood the terms of the Brexit divorce deal which includes a Northern Ireland protocol designed to prevent any hard border between the British province and the Irish republic.

“We are now hearing that, unless we agree to the EU’s terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish Sea,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI.”

Johnson’s appeal for national unity in the face of EU’s intimidation comes as his government is pushing a bill through the parliament to override parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The proposed UK Internal Market Bill seeks to counter the EU threats to impose hard borders on the the island of Ireland from January 1. The new legislation will “protect the integrity of the UK and the peace process in Northern Ireland,” Johnson government believes

The draft bill faces stiff opposition from Brussels. “European parliament leaders threatened to veto future UK-EU trade deals unless Johnson withdrew legislation attempting to alter parts of the Withdrawal Agreement,” German state broadcaster DW News reported on Saturday. 

The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, more than three years after the July 2016 Brexit referendum. Till December 31, the UK will remain part of the EU customs union and single market. London is currently trying to strike a UK-EU trade deal to replace the current arrangement once the transition period ends in December.

According to the EU leaders, the trade agreement will come at the price of UK’s sovereignty. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders want the UK to conform to EU laws and regulations in order to mainstream good trade relations with the 27-member bloc. 

EU leaders threatened the UK’s access to the European market if it fails to play by their rules. “If Britain does not want to have rules on the environment and the labour market or social standards that compare with those of the EU, our relations will be less close,” Merkel warned in July. This, however, is ironic, since the Britons voted in the 2016 referendum to free themselves from these very law made by unelected officials in Brussels. 

Johnson’s firm stand against the EU might have been stiffened by political considerations at home. His Conservatives face pressure from the Right. Last week, Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage reportedly vowed to revive his Brexit Party if Johnson ‘caves in’ under Brussels’ pressure.

The Brexit Party founder rejected any “political and regulatory alignment” with the EU. “For Boris and his team to give into what Michel Barnier [EU’s Brexit negotiator] wants, it would be a breach of contract with the British people,” Farage warned

On the other side of the English channel, the villainous EU commissars would do well to learn a bit of European history. The two historic attempts to impose a blockade on Britain ended disastrously for the continental powers. The Napoleonic embargo of the early ninetieth century, and Hitler’s U-boat blockade ended in the total collapse of the belligerent empires.

Boris Johnson: UK  is ‘ready’ and will ‘prosper mightily’ regardless of the EU trade deal (September 4)

 

 
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