Saturday, September 12, 2020

Johnson Accuses EU of Plotting Food 'Blockade' on UK

Johnson Accuses EU of Plotting Food 'Blockade' on UK
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused the European Union of threatening to impose a food "blockade" between Britain and Northern Ireland that could tear the UK apart, throwing new fuel on the fire of simmering Brexit talks.

Writing in Saturday's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Johnson said the EU's stance justified his government's introduction of new legislation to rewrite its Brexit withdrawal treaty -- a bill that is causing deep alarm among his own MPs.

Talks between London and Brussels on a future trading relationship are deadlocked as both sides struggle to prize apart nearly 50 years of economic integration, after British voters opted for a divorce.

Absent a deal by the end of this year, when the full force of Brexit kicks in, Johnson said the EU was bent on an "extreme interpretation" of rules for Northern Ireland.

"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," he wrote, AFP reported.

"I have to say that we never seriously believed that 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."

The EU has threatened Britain with legal action unless it withdraws the contentious legislation by the end of September, and leaders in the European Parliament on Friday threatened to veto any trade pact if London violates its promises....

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