‘Bitter and vindictive’ Eurocrats shamed for ‘targeting’ Brexit Britain in new punishment

Brexit: Northern Ireland has been 'betrayed' says Nigel Farage

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The EU is understood to be on the brink of launching a trade war against Britain if Foreign Secretary Liz Truss goes ahead with plans to scrap parts of the hated Brexit deal. Senior diplomatic sources say potential reprisals could see British products slapped with crippling trade tariffs to force Ms Truss and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to back down.

Conservative commentator Nile Gardiner said the EU’s “underscoring” proved why the UK was “right to leave the EU in the first place”.He tweeted: “Petty, bitter and vindictive Eurocrats target Brexit Britain while appeasing Russia.

“This is insanity, further underscoring why the UK was right to leave EU in first place.”

His scathing attack comes after it was reported the EU would target the UK with full force, including duty rises on JCB tractors, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, Heinz ketchup, Nissan cars and Cadbury chocolate.

An EU diplomat told The Daily Telegraph the EU’s patience with Mr Johnson was wearing thin.

They said: “Johnson has distracted voters for another month from the cost of living crisis, economic troubles, his stalled migration approach and the lingering Partgate.

“Every time Johnson needs to play to the gallery, he puts Brexit back on the agenda … Why should we be the ones to light it for him as well?”

Another senior EU diplomat warned:“It is a longstanding practice of the [European] Commission to target its trade defence policy to avoid contingent effects and to support political objectives.”

Former Brexit minister Lord David Frost said it was “disappointing” the EU will not help resolve problems caused by the post-Brexit deal in Northern Ireland and “continues to be so unconstructive.

The former chief Brexit negotiator also insisted there was no need for a trade war and that it would not be the UK’s choice.

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Speaking in the Lords for the first time since resigning from the frontbench last year, Lord Frost said: “We are told that fixing very obvious problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol will cause, it is said, ‘huge and irreparable damage to our foreign relations and international reputation’. I don’t agree with that.

“Any observer can see that protocol is undermining the Belfast Agreement, it’s weakening the Government’s ability to govern Northern Ireland. Any observer can see it needs fixing.

“There is no need for a trade war. If it comes, it won’t be our choice, I guess. Some argue that the war in Ukraine makes it the wrong moment to address this question. On the contrary, I think the great events that are under way make it all the more important for us to fix the issues that are dividing western countries.

“To me it makes it all the more surprising and disappointing that the EU will not help us solve this problem and continues to be so unconstructive.”

Last week, in a highly controversial move, Ms Truss announced her intention to legislate to override parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty.

Ms Truss said the legislation would not break international law and that she would publish the government’s legal position soon

The announcement prompted anger in European capitals and raised the spectre of a possible trade war with the EU.

The EU has threatened to retaliate with “all measures at its disposal” if the UK proceeds with new legislation overwriting sections of the protocol.

The treaty agreed by the UK and EU as a way to maintain a free-flowing Irish land border has created economic barriers on the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, causing resentment and anger among many unionists and loyalists.

The row has created an impasse in efforts to form a devolved government administration in Belfast.

The UK is planning unilateral action to introduce separate “green” and “red” lanes for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, drawing a line between those destined to stay within the UK and those heading to the Republic of Ireland and beyond.

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