Boris Johnson has defended his plans to override part of the Brexit deal he agreed with the EU by declaring that the bloc could carve out Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. Writing on The Telegraph, Johnson says
‘Let’s remove this danger to the very fabric of the United Kingdom… and let’s get this Bill through’.
The article by Johnson, lays the blame for the current impasse between London and Brussels at the EU’s feet, and urged Conservative Party politicians to get behind new legislation, known as the Internal Market Bill, that would allow the U.K. to unilaterally alter parts of its withdrawal agreement with the EU.
Described as bullish, POLITICO contextualises the words as coming when the PM is facing criticism from within his own party about his decision to rewrite parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement — despite having a significant majority to get the legislation through parliament.
In the article on The Telegraph, Johnson wrote, “Our partners know that, whatever happens, the UK is their friend, their biggest single export market and committed forever to the peace and security of the European continent. They know that there are ways in which we want to continue and even deepen our relations, not just in trade. As I have never tired of saying, we have left the EU, but we have not left Europe. But they also know – or at least they know now – that leaving the EU means the UK is serious about its new-found sovereignty.
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. This was for the very good reason that any such barrier, any such tariffs or division, would be completely contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.
By actively undermining the Union of our country, such an interpretation would seriously endanger peace and stability in Northern Ireland. This interpretation cannot have been the real intention of those who framed the protocol (it certainly wasn’t ours) – and it is therefore vital that we close that option down. But we cannot leave the theoretical power to carve up our country – to divide it – in the hands of an international organisation. We have to protect the UK from that disaster, and that is why we have devised a legal safety net – in the UK Internal Market Bill – to clarify the position and to sort out the inconsistencies. “