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Guy Verhofstadt spoke in the European Parliament today to urge Michel Barnier to include a clause to prevent the UK Government from reneging on any commitments reached in a post-Brexit trade deal. But the Belgian’s intervention has sparked a furious response.
Mr Verhofstadt shared his exchange in the European Parliament earlier today to his 453,000 Twitter followers, with the caption: “We need a deal to avoid the worst of all Brexits, including a safeguard to be 100 percent sure that the agreement is applied in good faith.”
In the video, the MEP said: “If we make a deal with the British – and I hope there is a deal in the coming weeks – then we put in the final agreement of the treaty, it’s an international treat, a disposition that automatically that treaty cease to exist if the British do not follow all the commitments that they have taken, including in the Withdrawal Agreement.
“That’s in my opinion absolutely necessary.
“Because otherwise, if there is a deal, if there is an agreement and 27 will have ratified it, and they don’t follow their commitments, it will be a huge mess.
“And it will be, again, a necessity for 27 decisions by the 28 member states to stop that agreement.
“So I think that after what happened with the Internal Market Bill it is in the interest in the European Union to force such a disposition in that final agreement as fast as possible.”
But respondents reacted furiously to his remarks and urged the European to stop interfering in British affairs.
One person wrote: “Guy wants a ‘tripwire’ mechanism to end any UK-EU deal in an instant.
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“This blowhard imperialist is absolutely determined to make a deal with the UK as onerous and fragile as possible.
“His goal here is that Britain becomes a useful, perennial whipping boy for his emergent empire.”
While another simply said: “You. Cannot. Control. Britain.”
Former Labour MP Kate Hoey, who was a leading voice in the Leave campaign, simply quipped: “So glad we have left this lot.”
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Another person pointed out there would be no need for a safeguard if a deal between Britain and the UK is reached in the coming weeks.
This is because the Internal MarketsBill, and the subsequent plan which risks overriding parts of the Withdrawal Agreement, would only be enacted if a deal has not been agreed.
They wrote: “If we are given the deal we are asking for there is no need to pass the Internal Markets Bill.
“Agree with you; EU needs to stop trying to punish the UK for leaving.”
Another user wondered why the EU was making it so difficult to agree a trade deal, and wrote: “Can someone explain how having been partners for over 40 years and trading all that time, it is so difficult to make a fair trade deal for a former partner.
“That is unless the EU is trying to set an example so that others do not follow.
“Both parties will lose due to the EU.”
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