Brexit warning: Boris ‘won’t hesitate’ to turn back on trade deal ‘EU doesn’t understand!’

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Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party crushed the opposition in December’s general election to secure a huge 80-seat parliamentary majority, enabling him to force his Brexit deal through the House of Commons, something former Prime Minister Theresa May failed to do on three separate occasions. This saw Mr Johnson deliver on his general election pledge to “get Brexit done” on January 31, with negotiations on a trade deal with the European Union beginning in March. But these talks are already on the verge of collapse, with the two sides trading vicious blows and insults since the conclusion of the latest round of virtual talks last Friday (May 15).

The UK and EU are at odds over several aspects of the future relationship, and have blamed each other’s negotiating stance for the lack of progress being made thus far.

David Frost, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, has warned the EU and his Brussels counterpart Michel Barnier they will have to change their stance on a number of areas by the next round of virtual talks on June 1.

Even before formal trade negotiations began, Mr Johnson threatened to walk away from the negotiating table if sufficient progress had not been made by June.

John Macdonald, Head of Government Affairs at the Adam Institute think tank, warned this scenario is now becoming more of a reality, and had scathing criticism for the EU.

He told Express.co.uk: “While a trade deal is now even more in both the EU and UK’s interests, the EU appears not to understand (despite how often it has been repeated) that unlike Theresa May, Johnson’s strong Parliamentary majority is staked on his commitment to ‘Get Brexit Done’.

“It is likely he will not hesitate to walk away from the table.

“Johnson and his top team have already shown willingness to walk away should their negotiating principles be violated.

“They refused to cave to pressure to amend their Withdrawal Agreement Bill when the Tories had no working majority, choosing the riskier strategy of pursuing a General Election over sacrificing their principles.”

Professor Alex de Ruyter, Director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, warned the exploding tensions between the UK and EU will likely see trade deal negotiations collapse because “there is no change in sight to the UK Government’s negotiating approach”.

He told this website: “I think that ‘no deal’ is looking increasingly likely.

“For the free-market Brexit ‘ultras’ in the UK negotiating team, any form of continued regulatory alignment with the EU is anathema to them.

“I think they would prefer no deal to what they regard as continued adherence to Brussels rulings.

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“Given that we have until the end of next month to request an extension to the so-called Transition Period of continued Single Market and Customs Union membership, time is running out, and there is no change in sight to the UK Government’s negotiating approach.”

But while Kostas Maronitis, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Leeds Trinity University, conceded Mr Johnson could still turn his back on a trade deal with the EU, he outlined why the Prime Minister would be wrong to do so.

The political expert said: “Walking away would be wrong for two reasons.

“First, it would indicate a failure of statecraft and lack of political vision.

“Second, the world of trade is completely different to the one when the UK voted to leave the EU.

“The breakdown of relations between US and China and the recession caused by the pandemic do not necessarily provide any sense of safety or normality that the UK could rely on.”

Wyn Grant, Political Scientist and Professor of Politics at the University of Warwick, believes the UK is hoping its threats to pull out of trade talks could see Brussels relent in a number of areas, but he warned this strategy is fraught with danger.

He said: “I think that the UK does intend to walk away in the hope that the EU will offer a deal as the deadline approaches.

“They may do, but it would be a bare-bones deal that avoided the worst disruption.”

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Varadkar humiliation: How Irish PM sparked outrage after horror Twitter comment

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Leo Varadkar is being urged to include Sinn Fein in talks to form a coalition government after Fine Gael lost a considerable number of seats at the February elections. Opposition party Sinn Fein, the politically left group historically associated with the IRA, meanwhile, enjoyed a resurgence, winning 15 seats.

John McGuinness, a senior politician from rival Fianna Fail party labelled Mr Varadkar as “ridiculous” for not including Sinn Fein in coalition talks.

He told RTE: “Fine Gael lost the election, Fianna Fail lost seats, and Sinn Fein had a good election.

“I see no good reason why, in these economic circumstances, we shouldn’t have a government made up of these three parties.

“They should get on with it and start talking.

“It is ridiculous that we would spend so long talking to two single parties without exploring the input of others.”

It’s not the first time Mr Varadkar has found himself at the centre of a political storm.

Shortly after the election, he provoked a furious response from Irish voters after posting a message to Twitter about his Government’s pledge on housing.

According to Government data, some 10,000 people are living in emergency accommodation and considered homeless.

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Yet, the Taoiseach praised his Government’s performance on housing, recounting the number of developments underway in the Republic.

Mr Varadkar wrote: “Confirmed: more than 21,000 new homes built last year and 3,000 more brought back into use.

“Should reach 25,000 this year.

“More than 30,000 next.

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“That’s what’s sustainable and deliverable.”

The tweet immediately backfired, with voters criticising Mr Varadkar over his use of data.

One wrote: “Leo these are not homes for the poor.

“Leave it to Mary Lou (SInn Fein’s leader) and can you please just leave the government and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Another commented: “Stop trying to mislead people.

“These are private developments and it costs people huge rents.

“HAP (Irish social housing) means two payments a week. People are on the breadline.

“You did not help, you made things worse.

“Wake up Taoiseach. Look at the votes!

“People need change. We can’t take anymore.”

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Over 70s told to remain at home and avoid contact in gut-wrenching lockdown U-turn

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister laid out new rules which allow unlimited exercise outdoors and the mixing with one person from another household.

But he said elderly men and women should not venture out just yet.

He said: “I’m sorry to say however, Mr Speaker, that we shall continue to ask those who are clinically vulnerable including pregnant women and people over 70 or those with pre-existing chronic conditions to take particular care to minimise contact with those outside their household.

“And we must continue to shield people who are extremely vulnerable.

“They should, I’m afraid, remain at home and avoid any direct contact with others.”

He added: “I know that easing restrictions for the many will only increase the anguish of those who must remain shielded. So the Government will look at every possible way of supporting the most vulnerable.”

The relaxing of some of the rules will not mean any change for millions of grandparents who had been hoping to be allowed to visit relative and hug their grandchildren.

More to follow…

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‘NOT electable!’ Jeremy Corbyn mocked after vowing ‘solidarity’ with Bernie Sanders

Jeremy Corbyn, who oversaw the party’s disastrous general election result in December, took to Twitter to respond to a post from the US Presidential candidate after he pulled out of the race to unseat Donald Trump in the White House. The Vermont Senator’s withdrawal clears the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to become the Democratic nomination and take on Mr Trump in November. Following his announcement, Bernie Sanders, who’s political agenda has pushed the Democratic Party sharply to the left, tweeted: “Let us go forward together. The struggle continues.”

Mr Corbyn, who stepped down as Labour leader last week, was quick to respond with his own message of support for Mr Sanders.

He tweeted: “Solidarity @berniesanders.

“The struggle for a better world goes on.”

But Mr Corbyn, who was replaced as the opposition leader by Sir Keir Starmer at the weekend, was quickly torn apart by political critics.

One person tweeted: “Isn’t it now time to admit that Corbynism and Bernieism isn’t ever going to be electable?”

Another said: “It’s glorious seeing socialism rejected & left-wing politics being pulled apart in the US and UK. Absolutely Glorious.”

A third person said: “Losers transmit echos to each other. The normal people look on in puzzlement.

“Can they really be that out of touch and self-absorbed?”

While a fourth person commented: “Alternatively, another stale old socialist realises he won’t win so gives up.”

Many were also quick to praise both politicians.

Mr Sanders, a former front-runner who promised to lead a grassroots political revolution into the White House, withdrew from the US Presidential race on Wednesday.

He admitted he had little hope of nomination following a series nominating contest losses to Mr Biden.

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But the defeated Mr Sanders vowed to remain on the ballot in future primaries to gather delegates in order to push the Democratic platform towards his populist anti-corporate agenda, including government-run healthcare system and tax hikes for the rich.

He said in a live-streamed speech to supporters from his hometown of Burlington, Vermont: “Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.”

He had also said: “I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is now we are some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path towards victory is virtually impossible.

“While we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful.

“Today, I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.

“Please know I do not make this decision lightly – in fact, it has been a very painful and difficult decision.

“If I believed we had a feasible path for nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign.”

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