Former UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major blasted the British government over its intention to break the divorce treaty with the European Union through a new Internal Market Bill. In a joint letter published by the Sunday Times, the two leaders urged the members of Parliament to boycott the bill, accusing the government of “embarrassing” the country.
“What is being proposed now is shocking,” the former political adversaries wrote.
Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that a no-deal exit would be a “good outcome for the UK”, triggering strong reactions from the EU and the Labour Party at home. The post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the European Union has descended into acrimony after Johnson hinted at a willful violation of the divorce treaty.
Blair and Major said that the overt repudiation of the treaty strikes at the very heart of the withdrawal agreement. The duo added that there are ready mechanisms like negotiations and independent arbitration within the agreement to resolve the issues bu the government chose to ignore those options.
“Instead, it has thrown the withdrawal treaty into uncertainty and given the EU genuine reason to question whether Britain can be relied upon in any future trade agreements with the EU,” they wrote.
The UK has already been facing backlash for its “intransigent and unrealistic” attitude during the Brexit trade talks, leading to a stalemate after several rounds of negotiations. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said that the British economy would face “consequences” if the United Kingdom decides to break the divorce agreement with new domestic legislation.
After a meeting of EU finance ministers in Berlin, Scholz told reporters that no-deal Brexit would have “very significant” consequences for the British economy. He insisted that Europe has been preparing for the transition and would be able to deal with it, stressing that there won’t be particularly difficult consequences for the bloc.