Johnson accuses EU of plotting food 'blockade' on UK


In one of the most extraordinary turns since the 2016 Brexit referendum, Britain explicitly said this week that it plans to break global law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty that is signed in January.

Britain's decision to break global law by overwriting part of the EU Withdrawal Agreement has alarmed European leaders and threatens to scuttle the fragile negotiations on future UK-EU relations now being held in the British capital.

Mr Sefcovic said the bill, if adopted, "would constitute an extremely serious violation of the withdrawal agreement and of global law".

"But it's not easy to negotiate our future relations under these threatening circumstances", he said.

Germany hoped Britain would pull back from the brink, but France, the bloc's other economic and political powerhouse, was scathing.

Why is Britain changing the law? The dispute risks jeopardising already faltering efforts to secure a trade deal between the two sides by December 31.

The emergency talks were called after ministers admitted on Tuesday that provisions in the Bill to enable the Government to change elements of the withdrawal agreement relating to Northern Ireland would breach global law.

She said that "if the UK violates that worldwide treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday (peace) accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress".

The move comes just as European leaders threatened to abandon a U.K. -EU trade deal if the prime minister moved ahead with the legislation.

One EU source said Britain would not succeed if it tried to use the planned breach of the Withdrawal Agreement as a threat to extract concessions from the bloc in trade talks.

Nightclubs, banquet halls must close again during COVID-19
Henry recommended returning to a bubble of five or six people, and maintaining distance with people outside that group. September 6 to 7 we had 107 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 83 new cases.

Johnson told lawmakers on Wednesday that the legislation was needed to protect against "extreme or irrational interpretations of the (Irish) protocol that could lead to a border down the Irish Sea".

The UK has refused, saying its parliament is sovereign above global law.

Opposition parties and European Union officials were astonished when Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis acknowledged in Parliament on Tuesday that the legislation "does break worldwide law in a very specific and limited way".

It's not about if we implement the Withdrawal Agreement and the Northern Irish protocol, it's how we implement it, he said.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Johnson said he had become "anxious" in the last few weeks that the European Union might have misunderstood the terms of the Brexit divorce deal which includes a Northern Ireland protocol created to prevent any hard border between the British province and the Irish republic. The UK government said it welcomed such a meeting.

But he signalled he would be ready to be thrown out the Conservative parliamentary party if necessary.

"We are not going to carry out any "empty chair" diplomacy, that is quite clear", he said.

Informal talks are due to resume on Monday, with the next official round of talks - the ninth since March - starting in Brussels on 28 September. Johnson has said Britain will walk away if there is no agreement by October 15.

In a statement following the latest round of talks on Thursday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there were "many uncertainties" about the UK's animal hygiene regime. Both sides say that unless there is an agreement by next month, Britain is facing an economically disruptive no-deal exit on January 1.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said Wednesday there was an 80 percent chance of "chaos in Kent", the English county that contains the major Channel port of Dover, on January 1, even with a trade deal. "It is my job to work for success", he said.