Brexit sell out: EU trade deal gives bloc ‘powers to dictate’ – Boris urged to take action
Brexit: EU ‘damaged trust’ in UK negotiations says MEP
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The European Parliament reluctantly approved the Trade and Corporation Agreement on Wednesday, more than four months after the deal was agreed in December. The divorce agreement has been provisionally implemented since January 1, but the interpretation of the deal has resulted in increased tensions between the UK and the EU.
Much of the friction centres around arrangements in Northern Ireland which has seen Belfast tied to the EU regulatory framework.
Former foreign policy adviser and Brexiteer, Ben Harris-Quinney, has condemned the deal and its impact on Northern Ireland, trade and fishing.
The chairman of the independent Bow Group think-tank says the deal grants the EU “major powers to dictate what goes on in the UK” and has urged the UK Government to re-negotiate in order to give Britain “total control and sovereignty”.
The deal was formally announced on December 24 and Mr Harris-Quinney voice his reservations at the time by outlining 10 major flaws.
He claimed the deal would allow the EU to impose rules of the single market in the UK, create a border down the Irish Sea, and said the new fishing deal was too closely aligned to the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Mr Harris-Quinney told Express.co.uk: “Following the announcement of the final detail of the Brexit deal last year the Bow Group raised 10 points of urgent concern with the deal.
“Since that time, on issues like Northern Ireland, on immigration, on trade and on fishing, our concerns have become immediately apparent flaws in the deal.
“Fundamentally the EU still has major powers to dictate what goes on in the UK via the binding treaties in this deal, and judging from their approach and attitude since the deal was done they fully intend to use them.
“It is obviously a cause of huge celebration that we finally left the EU, but this was a bad deal that didn’t reflect what people voted for.”
MEPs began debating the trade deal on Tuesday and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen delivered a parting warning to the UK.
Ms von der Leyen said the agreement came with “real teeth” and the “possibility for unilateral remedial measures where necessary”.
Her stark remarks came in the wake of an ongoing battle between the UK and EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The mechanism was created to prevent a hard land border on the island of Ireland and the compromise tied Belfast to the EU customs union and single market.
The UK took the unilateral decision to extend grace periods and delayed imposing checks on goods until the winter – triggering legal action from the bloc.
Tensions were sparked at the start of the year when the European Commission temporarily triggered Article 16 of the protocol in an attempt to block vaccines being shipped to the UK.
Mr Harris-Quinney says the UK should be “alarmed” by the comments made by the EU chief on Tuesday and insisted bloc will attempt to “exert major authority” over the UK in the future.
He said: “We should not only be alarmed by her remarks, and those of other EU leaders, but also their actions.
“It is very clear that they intend to use all of the powers in the Brexit deal to continue to exert major authority over how things are done in Britain.
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“If they are willing to take such an aggressive and inexplicable position on an issue as sensitive as vaccines, then it’s hard to see what they won’t stick their oar in over in the future.
“We would encourage the government to look again at the Brexit deal to ensure that it gives us total control and sovereignty, otherwise those weaknesses will continue to be exposed and exploited by the EU and what appeared to be a political victory for Boris will quickly turn into a defeat.”
The Prime Minister has hailed the deal and insisted it enabled the UK and EU to be “sovereign equals”, while helping to create a “more global Britain”.
Boris Johnson said: “This week is the final step in a long journey, providing stability to our new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals.
“Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain.”
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