France: Clement Beaune discusses ‘test for Europe’
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Dr Timothy Bradshaw pointed to Mr Beaune’s remarks after the former EU Brexit negotiator claimed Britain would face “serious” risks if it failed to respect the agreement signed in December 2020. Speaking in the French Senate in March, Mr Beaune, France’s Minister for European Affairs, told deputies: “Don’t romanticise no-deal.
“It would have led to a breakdown and the disintegration of the European Union, when we need a Europe which is solid for the long term.”
Dr Bradshaw, a theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman and a regular contributor to the Briefings for Britain website, told Express.co.uk: “Barnier’s warnings must be seen against this backdrop.
“They are terrified of an Article 16 ending of the WA TCA and NIP and WTO trade.
“They have a 95billion trade surplus and tariffs would devastate that.
”Basically the EU is throwing everything at the UK to stop it triggering Article 16 of the NIP and so defaulting onto WTO terms.
“As the French Senate says, this could destroy the EU altogether and lose the massive gains it got from the Brexit deal.
“Hence Barnier and Coveney etc continually threatening the UK to stick to the appalling deal. The EU trade surplus of some £90billion would be subject to tariffs, the fisheries would return to the UK – and please the Scottish fishermen.
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“A normal smart border between Eire and NI would have to be fixed quickly. That is my reading of this situation.”
Speaking to Euronews yesterday, Mr Barnier said: “I am confident that this great country will respect their signature, even if there are intentions that I struggle to understand.
“Because if you look at things in perspective, the most important thing for the British is to maintain a market of 450 million consumers with a big neighbour.
“If they question their signature, it would be serious for the trust we need.”
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Mr Beaune returned to the subject of Brexit last month in the wake of Mr Macron’s controversial assertion during a conversation with Boris Johnson at the G7 summit that the Northern Ireland was not part of the United Kingdom.
Mr Beaune told Europe1 radio: “Mr Johnson thinks that you can sign deals with the Europeans and not respect them and that Europe will not react. It is a test for Europe.
“I am telling the British people, Brexit commitments must be respected.
“If it is not the case, retaliatory measures could be taken.”
With specific reference to the Northern Ireland Protocol, new DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson yesterday said the region’s relationships with Great Britain and the Republic have been damaged by the mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, which unionists claim has resulted in a border down the Irish Sea.
He told Sky News: “At the heart of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement are our three sets of relationships, and there’s a very delicate balance within that agreement as to how those relationships are managed.
“One of the key relationships is that between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
“The agreement is very clear. The principle of consent protects the rights of the people of Northern Ireland to determine their constitutional status.”
Sir Jeffrey added: “When you harm one of those relationships, you harm all of them by extension.
“That’s exactly what we’ve seen happening because our relationship with Great Britain has been harmed by this protocol.
“So too our relationship with the Republic of Ireland has been harmed, and indeed it has undermined and destabilised relationships within Northern Ireland itself.
“We’ve seen that even on our streets. So it is imperative for all of us that we resolve these issues.”
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