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Boris Johnson threatens EU over Brexit and intimidates Northern Ireland



Britain leaves the European Union at the end of 2020 with or without a new free trade agreement, Johnson promises. With just over three months to go before the end of a transition period, a pact between the sides seems as far away as ever. Relations between Europe and the UK have grown exponentially and underscore the great effort in the survey, as the UK and Europe are both struggling to recover from deep pandemic recessions.

Rachel Powell grew up in South Armagh, where during the riots a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland was patrolled by British troops, often attacked by Irish Republican militants. She said she is deeply concerned about what will happen next.

“The British government has no idea what it̵

7;s like to live at the border, and it’s using it again as a political football,” said Powell, a lobbyist with the Women’s Resource and Development Agency in Belfast.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought peace to Ireland – and today the line marking the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is invisible.

Powell said border communities are “appalled” by the uncertainty and ambiguity of Brexit.

This past week, Johnson began using martial arts, claiming that the EU plans to “chop up our country” and stifle food supplies with destabilizing new barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland.

“Unless we agree on EU terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland Protocol to impose a full-scale trade border on the Irish Sea,” Johnson wrote in the Telegraph newspaper.

Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney rejected Johnson’s claim that Europe would “block” Northern Ireland as “completely false.”

Europeans are wise that Johnson has submitted a bill to Parliament that would violate important parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty, an agreement that Johnson signed just nine months ago, calling the pact “historic” and “fantastic”.

The agreement aims to refine trade and customs issues to enable Northern Ireland to go out with the rest of the United Kingdom, but to maintain easy trade – and psychological ties – with the Republic of Ireland, which will remain part of the EU In the absence of a free trade agreement, there would probably need to be some form of control between North and South to collect tariffs and quotas.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the Northern Ireland protocol signed last year did not pose a threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. He tweeted, “We agreed on this delicate compromise [Boris Johnson] & his government to protect peace and stability on the island of Ireland. We could not have been clearer about the consequences of #Brexit. ”

Martin O’Brien is a veteran peace activist from northern Belfast who worked to ensure that strong human rights were included in the Good Friday Agreement. “Brexit – and this government’s particular form of Brexit, a tough Brexit – was initiated without regard to the consequences for Northern Ireland,” he said.

O’Brien called the withdrawal agreement signed by Britain and the EU last year “a carefully crafted mechanism to try to minimize the worst consequences” of Brexit.

“Now the government has decided to go back on the compromise, and again it is hugely destabilizing,” he said.

Queen’s University Belfast Professor Katy Hayward said: “We should be aware of this now, the excitement of a political storm over Northern Ireland and its place after Brexit, but we are no less tired of it.”

She said “the concerns are only growing. . . . We face the prospect of the United Kingdom openly violating international law and using Northern Ireland’s position as a justification for it. This sets a whole new precedent. And it bodes very badly for peace. ”

During the riots, more than 3,500 people were killed, more than half of them civilians.

Brandon Lewis, Johnson’s Northern Ireland minister, admitted last week that the new bill amending the Brexit agreement with Europe would “break international law”, but, he said, only in a “specific and limited way.”

Johnson’s move has triggered alarms in the US Congress, with House President Nancy Pelosi (D-California) warning that today’s open border between north and south must be preserved at all costs. Undermining the Good Friday Pact, Pelosi said, and “there will be absolutely no chance of a trade deal between the United States and Britain passing Congress.”

If the UK and Europe are unable to sign a trade agreement by the end of the year, then the World Trade Organization’s rules will apply to goods traded between the EU and the UK with tariffs and quotas levied in both directions. Supply chains that are 40 years in production could be traced.

On the island of Ireland, there is growing concern that Johnson is throwing himself into a no-deal Brexit.

“Securing a ‘zero tariff, zero quota’ free trade agreement with the EU remains crucial for the future of UK businesses,” said Ann McGregor, CEO of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. our largest trading partner at a crucial stage in the negotiations. “

Former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major have joined in condemning Johnson’s attempt to overthrow the Brexit deal, calling it “shameful”. They urged Labor and Conservative lawmakers to vote down the bill.

“It raises issues that go far beyond the impact on Ireland, the peace process and the negotiation of a trade agreement – crucial, though they are. It calls into question the integrity of our nations, ”the couple wrote in the Sunday Times.

Since then, the bill has cleared an initial vote in the House of Commons.

Sammy Wilson, a senior member of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, said his group would present amendments to Johnson’s bill. But he dismissed the former prime minister’s concern that Irish peace could clear up as a “complete bunk”.

Wilson said Johnson’s bill would make it easier for Northern Ireland to do business with the UK with less paperwork.

Booth reported from London.




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