First Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “economic damage will be entirely Tory”.
Politicians have described the government’s reported plan to terminate the Brexit withdrawal agreement as “fraudulent” committed by “fraudsters”.
Boris Johnson is drafting a new law that will document more important parts of the agreement – an agreement that closes Britain’s withdrawal from the EU in January – a move that could jeopardize trade talks, reports the Financial Times (FT).
Michel Barnier, communications chief at Brexit in Brussels, cautiously responded that the UK wanted “the best country”.
The prime minister is also expected to say on Monday that ending trade talks, if there is no agreement on EU summit on 15 October, will still be a “positive outcome for the UK”.
The first word from Mr Johnson came as FT reported parts of the Internal Market Bill, which was to be published on Wednesday, expected to “remove” the legal powers of the Withdrawal Agreement in areas involving government assistance and culture in Northern Ireland.
As part of the principles of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the region is expected to continue to comply with other EU rules after the end of the 2021 transition period to ensure that there are no difficult borders.
Northern Ireland First Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill wrote on Twitter that any threats to postpone the agreement could be “a fraudulent betrayal that could cause irreparable damage to the Irish economy and the Good Friday Agreement”.
First Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the move would be rejected by the government on a “free-to-negotiate” deal described as “the oven is ready” by Mr Johnson.
He wrote on Twitter that this would “significantly increase” the chances of non-trading with Brexit, and that “the damage done to the economy would be entirely caused by Tory. Who are the deceivers”.
He also said that “there are few legal details” left to apply the law that must be “arrested”.
There will be a “certain test for other goods” arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain meaning “other cultural processes, but not cultural checks,” he added.
Mr Barnier called on the UK to maintain its obligations, saying: “We want the simplest, and most calm, to the end, that political commitments in the text agreed with Boris Johnson are officially translated into this agreement.”
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the government would undermine the Good Friday Agreement, jeopardize the future of the UK, and end its global credibility if it continued any of the “negligent” acts against Ireland by the British government “in the long run”.
“And what they will do in the future is to undermine the Good Friday Treaty, which is a popular vote on the island of Ireland, they will be in danger of a difficult border crossing our country and threatening the peace and security we have built over decades.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Lisa Nandy tweeted: “This undermines our moral integrity.
The proposed move, along with Mr Johnson’s comments on non-compliance with the agreement, is likely to put pressure as negotiators prepare to meet on Tuesday on the other side of the talks in London.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke mockingly of complaints raised by an employee from a medical device company that their delivery could be disrupted without a trade agreement being struck.
He told a LBC caller that we would “clearly want” an agreement to be reached but insisted that “I am free to have the plans we need” to protect the health of the nation in the absence of an agreement.