‘Keep your promises!’ Brexiteer lists five ways where Boris has FAILED to get Brexit done

Brexit: Gove slammed over ‘untrue’ claims by Ben Habib

Ben Habib offered his analysis at a time when the deal signed by Mr Johnson was being scrutinised by the European Parliament – but the former MEP suggested it would be far better for the UK to tear it up, along with the Withdrawal Agreement. Speaking before the EU controversially confirmed plans to restrict coronavirus vaccine exports through Northern Ireland before reversing the decision hours later, Mr Habib told Express.co.uk: “I do wish to support the Prime Minister, I really want to, and I want to be optimistic and look to the future.

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“But the problem I have got is they make promises that they do not keep and they lie about whether or not they have kept them.

“And I have got masses of evidence of this.

“I understand that as economic and political events change, manifesto pledges may not be able to be upheld.

“But the extent to which this Government breaches its promises and then lies in order to get out of the problem is deeply distressing.”

Mr Habib claimed Mr Johnson had failed on fishing, borders, the level-playing field, state aid rule, and any ties to a future EU army.

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He highlighted Mr Johnson’s remark that there would be a border down the Irish Sea “over my dead body”.

Mr Habib said: “We now have a border down the Irish Sea.”

He also referred to a remark by the Prime Minister in August 2019, when he said the Withdrawal Agreement was dead and that Britain could not countenance £39billion to the EU for nothing in return.

Mr Habib said: “But at the time when he said that he must have been renegotiating the withdrawal agreement with the European Union!”

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He added: “Then they said that we would take complete control of our fishing – after he won the general election he said we would have quotas determined by the UK at our discretion. We now have fixed quotas going beyond 2026.

“When you read the agreement, the only way to get back control is to terminate the fishing arrangements, in which case they can terminate the trade, aviation and haulage arrangements.”

He continued: “He said that we would not sign into a level playing field and would have no political alignment with the EU.

“We have now signed into a level playing field.

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“He said we would not adhere to EU state aid law but he committed Northern Ireland to it.

“We now discover, contrary to representations made by Michael Gove in the Commons, that EU state aid law will feed back into the UK, not just Northern Ireland, and anyway they have their mitts on our ability to dispense state aid through the level playing field.

“He said we would not commit to a European army, but now we find ourselves committed to paying into the European Defence Fund.”

Mr Johnson sealed an 80-seat House of Commons majority in the general election of 2019, during which he made heavy use of the slogan ‘Get Brexit Done’ – something Mr Habib said he had singularly failed to do.

He explained: “We have a Prime Minister who has promised to deliver the UK wholly out of the EU, that we would take control of our fishing, our laws, our cash, our borders and we have taken control of none of them.

“Yet they have the brazen audacity to stand up in the House of Commons and say they have fulfilled lots of promises and that we are a free independent nation now and we are not.”

The consequences, far from being merely symbolic, were in fact alarmingly practical, Mr Habib stressed.

He said: “It is so important that we can deviate from the EU, that we can deregulate and make laws for the UK which suit the UK.

“Because otherwise we are just never going to be a competitive nation again.

“We are just going to be stuck in this huge regulatory web and desperate not to diverge for fear of having sanctions against us because of the TCA.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “We have agreed a high-quality Free Trade Agreement with the EU that delivers on both the 2016 referendum and 2019 general election, returning sovereignty to the British public.

“Having regained our economic and political independence, no longer bound by EU law, we can now take advantage of the opportunities available to us, including regulating in a way that suits the UK economy and striking free trade deals with new partners around the world.”

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