Boris Johnson 'trashing us on world stage' says Rachel Reeves
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The PM has faced widespread calls and enormous pressure to resign after two key cabinet ministers, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, announced they would be quitting his government yesterday. Their resignations sparked the departure of a further 28 MPs, while a formerly loyal ally of Mr Johnson Michael Gove has today urged him to leave. The EU has taken the opportunity to kick the PM while he was down, with Mujtaba Rahman, managing director of the Eurasia Group, reporting that a senior EU official was jeering at the beleaguered Tory minister.
She quoted the official as saying: “Just filling up the popcorn”.
Meanwhile other MEPs have attacked the government as it struggles to survive. One slammed Mr Johnson’s “Fawlty Towers approach to politics”, urging to stop violating international law.
Gathering in Strasbourg today, multiple MEPs tore into the PM’s plan to tear up parts of the Brexit deal in order to solve the issue of the Northern Ireland protocol.
Speaking for the bloc’s largest centre-right political group, Irish MEP Seán Kelly said: “Breaching international law is not acceptable and defies logic, because the protocol is working”.
“I appeal to Boris Johnson and the British government to give over this Fawlty Towers-like approach to politics.
“Because if they don’t, there is a danger that Basil will be confused with Boris.
“Regardless of the outcome of the volatile situation in No 10 there is only one solution: put this bill aside, come and negotiate and we can reach an agreement. That is what democrats always do.”
Senior Green MEP Terry Reintke also warned: “What the UK Government is doing right now looks unfortunately more like a group of reckless, privileged people trying to distract from their own mistakes by breaking international law rather than serious governing.”
Meanwhile, ally of Emmanuel Macron Natalie Loiseau, speaking for the parliament’s Renew group, said: “The name of the problem is Brexit and the type of Brexit which was chosen by the current British government.”
She added that she understood the difference between the UK government delivering Brexit and the substantial percentage of the British people who want to maintain a “close and strong relationship with the European Union”.
Ms Loiseau said: “We will continue to put all our efforts into making that possible.”
From the parliament’s centre-left, Thijs Reuten, speaking for the party’s socialists group said: “I thought the Prime Minister ‘got Brexit done’, but instead it looks like he himself may be done.
“His domestic misdeeds are one thing, but is he really willing to break international law, to jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement, and to axe the trust between the UK and its most important trading partner – and all that at a time of huge economic turmoil?”
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The government’s new Bill on the Northern Ireland Protocol gives UK ministers the ability to change parts of the Protocol without having to consult the EU first. This is in an effort to undo parts of the agreement that Mr Johnson’s government had previously negotiated with the EU.
The Northern Ireland Protocol in its current form effectively creates a customs border in the Irish Sea, something which Mr Johnson had previously promised voters would only happen “over [his] dead body”, and which jeopardises the Good Friday Agreement critical to peace in the area.
While the protocol has broad public support in Northern Ireland, it has angered some unionists who want it scrapped or significantly changed.
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