Wednesday, 6 Jul 2022

Putin will be happy! Poland tears into UK in fury at Brexit deal row – sends new ultimatum

Nigel Farage slams ‘the biggest Brexit betrayal’

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Mateusz Morawiecki has called on the two bickering sides to “compromise”, rather than risk a damaging post-Brexit trade war, adding: “United we are strong, divided we are very weak.” This could be yet another major embarrassment for Boris Johnson, who sees Poland’s right-wing Government as a key ally in an evolving Europe, and a possible way to outflank the European Union superpowers of Germany and France. Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss outlined plans to table legislation in the coming weeks that would see key parts of the protocol torn up.

But the EU has warned it will retaliate with every power available, risking a potentially damaging trade war for what Brussels will consider to be in breach of international law.

Britain’s plan would not only scrap border checks in the Irish Sea, but zoom in on the role played by the European Court of Justice in overseeing disputes, as well as restore the UK’s ability to decide VAT rates.

Mr Morawiecki warned in an interview with the BBC: “Trade wars are a lose-lose situation.

“Poland wants to be as strong a partner for the UK as is possible – we want to work towards a compromise.

“Only Putin and our enemies will be happy with yet another disagreement between such close partners as the United Kingdom and the European Union.”

Poland’s Prime Minister is trying “to calm down the situation between France and the United Kingdom as much as possible” – two countries that have been at loggerheads ever since Brexit deal talks opened with the EU.

When pushed on the threat from the UK to tear up the Brexit deal, Mr Morawiecki added: “In the current circumstances in particular, where we have such a brutal invasion, it should be a wake-up call for those who want to disagree on anything.”

The comments from the Polish leader echo a warning that tearing up the hated Brexit deal with the EU would not only break international law, but also play into the hands of a gleeful Putin.

Coventry University politics professor and law expert Matt Qvortrup told “In international law, covenants must be honoured and so you have to stick to the agreement you have made.

“If Britain was to invoke Article 16 in the way Liz Truss has spoken about, then they would be breaching an international treaty.

“Should the Government go ahead and break an international treaty, then it would have consequences.

“At the moment we are fighting a war against somebody and in international affairs, standing up for the rule of law.

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“If you break an international law or agreement, that is a massive no-no.”

Professor Qvortrup added: “If we are to have any credibility in saying we believe in the rule of law but then we break a rule, that would be terrible and would be a godsend to Vladimir Putin.

“He has Britain firmly in his sights and breaking the rule of law would be playing into his hands.

“Putin would say ‘well you talk about the rule of law, and whenever it is convenient, you break it anyway’.

“Britain has recently been able to regain the mantle as the true serious player, but that would all be thrown away.”

Last week, Mr Johnson admitted he signed up to the post-Brexit trade barriers created by the protocol, but said he had hoped the EU would not “apply” them.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with the Irish Taoiseach later today, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson insisted there must be no climbdown.

He said Dublin must choose whether to “uphold the core principles of Belfast/Good Friday Agreement” or back a Protocol “which undermines all of this”, adding in a further warning: “They can’t have both.”

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