Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Peston hits out at Boris over Brexit – ‘Major says you’re BREACHING international law’

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Boris Johnson is facing a tirade of fury following new legislation which would override a key part of the UK and EU’s Brexit withdrawal agreement. Former prime minister John Major issued an incendiary statement in response to the Government, stating a signature on any Treaty or Agreement was “sacrosanct”.  ITV political journalist Robert Peston confronted the Mr Johnson with the former prime minister’s words, demanding to know what he would say to them.

Mr Major’s statement read: “For generations, Britain’s word – solemnly given – has been accepted by friend and foe.

“Our signature on any Treaty or Agreement has been sacrosanct.

“Over the last century, as our military strength has dwindled, our world has retained its power.

“If we lose our reputation for honouring the promises we make, we will have lost something beyond price that may never be regained.”

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Mr Johnson responded at the briefing: “I have to say, of course, I see it very differently.

“I see the risk that certain extreme interpretations of the Treaty might place to the peace process in Northern Ireland, to the Good Friday Agreement.

“Nobody wants to see a barrier down the Irish Sea.

“So what we’re going is putting a safety net beneath which things cannot go wrong to protect peace and protect the settlement in our united kingdom. That is the purpose of what we’re doing.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted that the Prime Minister was making the bid in the House of Commons this week.

He claimed that it would break international law only “in a very specific and limited way”.

Number 10 has said that it is still committed to implementing the withdrawal agreement.

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Mr Lewis claims that the legislation is about guaranteeing unfettered access for Northern Ireland.

EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier warned that respecting the Irish protocol is vital for peace and future partnership.

The Government’s legislation could change the nature of Northern Ireland customs arrangements.

However, there are fears that this could lead to a hard Irish border and therefore jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement.

Brexit talks have resumed for the eight round now but tensions are high.

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