Truss warned EU will ‘retaliate’ against hated Brexit deal
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The EU’s former Brexit negotiator, who drafted the Brexit deal, sent a stark warning to Liz Truss as the Prime Minister is moving forward with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. If she passes the bill, Michel Barnier said, the European Union will retaliate and could ultimately cancel Brexit. He said the move would bring back tariffs between the bloc and Britain, further worsening the cost-of-living crisis.
When asked about the specifics of an EU retaliation, Mr Barnier told the French news programme C dans l’air: “It means the EU retaliate as we have provided for in the treaty, i.e. to hand over the tariffs.
“Let me remind you that the agreement I drafted provides that there are no more tariffs and no quotas between us.
“Even though we have re-established non-tariff barriers, controls, etc. on all products that are traded between us and them.
“But if they misbehave, then maybe we will re-establish tariffs.”
Mr Barnier said: “And it may go, if it goes very badly, to the point of calling the treaty into question and re-establishing customs duties between us.
“I don’t want that.”
C dans l’air’s host Caroline Roux asked: “You don’t believe in it any more than that?”
Mr Barnier said: “I think this country sees the downsides of Brexit – there are only downsides.”
Mr Barnier said: “She [Liz Truss] can limit the consequences by rebuilding trust with us.”
The former Brexit negotiator also warned the Northern Ireland Protocol bill would jepoardise peace between the two Irelands.
“And that”, he said, “we [the EU] will not accept.”
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Liz Truss introduced the Northern Ireland Protocol bill in a bid to break the deadlock in Northern Ireland and allow for the creation of a Government in Stormont.
But the Prime Minister faces headwinds, as she will reportedly not meet US President Joe Biden during her trip to New York because of the bill.
On the plane to the US, she said: “There aren’t currently any negotiations taking place with the US and I don’t have any expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.”
The bill still has to go through the House of Lords where it could be amended before going back to the House of Commons.
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