15.09.2020 | EU explodes in angry response to Boris victory - 'Trying to blame us!'
Source - The Daily Express

The EU is concerned the Bill would give Britain the power to re-write the withdrawal agreement which was signed off last year. The UK considers the Bill to be a defence against any attempt in the future by the EU to blockade food to Northern Ireland or impose customs checks. Ms Barley told BBC’s Newsnight Brexiteers are “trying to blame the EU” for issues relating to a trade deal. She also accused Leavers of being unable to deliver a Brexit they had initially promised. The BBC’s Emily Maitlis put the Government’s concerns to the top EU representative. She said the UK’s Internal Market Bill would protect against “a blockade of food going to Northern Ireland; that you might impose checks; that you are meddling in what is essentially free movement within the UK”. Ms Barley responded: “Well, it is exactly the purpose of these negotiations to not have customs declarations and taxes and fees. “If the negotiations fail and we have a hard Brexit, of course we will.” “You’re trying to put the blame on us, but this is what the situation has been from the very beginning.” She accused the UK of acting in "bad faith" by considering ways in which the withdrawal bill could be changed, adding: “The ones who are acting in good faith is the EU." “The UK is keeping completely secretly what they have in mind, what their strategy is, what their positions are." Ms Maitlis hit back with a concern put forward by the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost. Mr Frost has accused the EU of implementing extra and unnecessary hurdles to a trade deal with the UK over food standards. He said the EU knows “perfectly well” what the UK’s food standards laws are because they are the same as EU laws. He said any changes to this could be navigated “in the usual way” under international rules, which the EU already does with “dozens” of countries. However, he added “it has been made clear to us in the current talks there is not guarantee of listing us” in this way. Ms Barley appeared not to answer these concerns, stating the bigger issue is the potential withdrawal agreement breach. She added: “Actually the problem is that the Brexiteers promised something that they cannot deliver to their people. “They cannot deliver a Brexit that doesn’t change anything, doesn’t cost anything, and is easily done.” The Internal Market Bill is a proposed law which would give Boris Johnson the power to rewrite parts of the withdrawal agreement. A number of Tory MPs have opposed the Bill, stating it could damage the UK’s international reputation. Many, however, have praised it for protecting the current environment between and within the UK and EU if trade talks break down before the December 31 transition period.

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