No 10 denies PM feels ‘ganged up on’ at G7 summit as EU leaders inform him to honour his aspect of Brexit deal

2021-06-12 17:14:31

Downing Avenue has denied that Boris Johnson feels “ganged up on” on the G7 summit in Cornwall, after a succession of EU leaders delivered a blunt message that he should ship on his Brexit guarantees.

French president Emmanuel Macron advised the PM he should “maintain his phrase” over preparations for the Northern Irish border if he needs a reset of relations with France.

And European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen advised him there was “full EU unity” that he should implement the measures he agreed within the 2019 Northern Eire Protocol, which embody a ban on actions of sausages from the British mainland from the tip of this month.

Downing Avenue signalled that the PM was ready to breach the settlement by extending a “grace interval” for chilled meat exports if he fails to attain a  compromise answer by the 30 June deadline, telling reporters that it was solely “presently” Mr Johnson’s want to stay throughout the bounds of the protocol.

And overseas secretary Dominic Raab took a provocative stance, telling the EU to not be “bloody-minded”.

An EU official mentioned Ms von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel urged Mr Johnson to tone down UK rhetoric on the problem.

Downing Avenue confirmed that the bitter stand-off was introduced up not solely by Mr Macron and Ms von der Leyen, but in addition by German chancellor Angela Merkel in a sequence of conferences on the Carbis Bay seaside resort which had been additionally attended by Brexit minister and key UK architect of the protocol Lord David Frost.

Mr Macron left little doubt that refusal to honour the phrases of the deal agreed by Mr Johnson as a part of his EU withdrawal settlement will bitter relations with Paris.

Talking in English, the French president advised Mr Johnson that their two international locations had widespread pursuits, however that ties might solely enhance if the PM delivered on his guarantees.

“The president advised Boris Johnson there wanted to be a reset of the Franco-British relationship,” mentioned a supply near the French chief.

“This could occur offered that he retains his phrase with the Europeans.”

Talking after her assembly with the PM alongside Mr Michel, Ms von der Leyen mentioned: “Either side should implement what we agreed on. There may be full EU unity on this.”

The deal had been agreed, signed and ratified by each Johnson’s authorities and the EU, she identified.

And he or she added: “The Good Friday Settlement and peace on the island of Eire are paramount.”

The PM’s official spokesperson was unable to level to any indication that the EU leaders had been keen to show the “pragmatism” demanded by Mr Johnson, however rejected options of a deep cross-Channel rift.

Requested if Mr Johnson felt “ganged up on”, he replied: “No, in no way. They had been very constructive discussions on a variety of points and the EU leaders agreed on the necessity for additional talks.”

No threats had been made this morning of authorized motion or the imposition of tariffs on UK exports within the case of a breach of the protocol, mentioned the PM’s spokesperson.

However an aide to Ms von der Leyen advised The Impartial forward of the talks that such reminders weren’t thought mandatory because the sanctions had been clearly set out within the textual content of the settlement signed by Mr Johnson.

The UK has mentioned it would maintain taking with the EU to discover a “radical” method of resolving the problem by the June 30 deadline, however Downing Avenue made clear that it is able to breach the protocol with a unilateral extension, telling reporters: “All choices are on the desk.”

Mr Johnson’s spokesperson mentioned at this time: “The prime minister’s want presently is to work throughout the present protocol to seek out radical and pragmatic options. That’s our fast focus. We maintain all choices on the desk.

“What we’re looking for is an answer. Presently as carried out, the protocol is having a harmful affect on the folks of Northern Eire. We have to discover pressing and progressive options.”

The row arises from strict EU guidelines barring actions of chilled meat merchandise into the 27-nation bloc on meals high quality and security grounds.

Mr Johnson’s choice to attract a customs border down the Irish Sea with a purpose to stop the creation of a tough border with the Republic implies that Northern Eire is roofed by the ban.

‘Nothing is negotiable’ Macron holds agency on Brexit negotiations

The UK is resisting EU proposals to resolve the issue by formally aligning meals security and hygiene rules, fearing that this could stop future commerce offers with international locations just like the US.

Downing Avenue accepts there was no breach of the settlement by the EU, however insists Brussels is imposing the foundations in an excessively “purist” method. London argues the EU ought to merely settle for that UK requirements are equal to these on the continent.

Mr Raab at this time urged that the implementation of the ban agreed by Mr Johnson in 2019 would put the integrity of the UK in danger.

The overseas secretary mentioned the protocol was designed to make sure “all communities in Northern Eire” are protected, insisting the EU should respect “each side of that pact”.

“They are often extra pragmatic concerning the implementation of the Northern Eire protocol in a method that’s win-win or they are often bloody-minded and purist about it,” he advised BBC Radio 4.

“Through which case I’m afraid we is not going to permit the integrity of the UK to be threatened.”

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