EU are trying to ‘capture Northern Ireland’ says Ben Habib
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Ben Habib, former Brexit Party MEP, has warned that the European Union’s decision to pause its legal action against the UK is a “red herring”. Earlier this week, the EU has paused its legal action for alleged breaches of the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP). However, Mr Habib told talkRADIO’s Kevin O’Sullivan that the EU is moving ahead with plans to “economically capture” Northern Ireland.
He urged that Boris Johnson had to act immediately and “take the EU to task firmly”.
Mr Habib even warned that the UK should be prepared for an inevitable trade war with the Brussels-based bloc.
Mr O’Sullivan predicted that the EU would back down and change the NIP, as he said: “They will buckle, they will renegotiate, won’t they?”
But, the Brexiteer disagreed, adding that the “legal action is an irrelevance”.
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The former MEP continued: “I don’t think they will buckle.
“The EU has effectively come out to say they are using these grace periods to move trade in Northern Ireland away from the UK and towards Ireland.
“They are trying to economically capture Northern Ireland.
“Lord Frost has admitted that the conditions of Article 16 were met – which allows the UK to unilaterally suspend the Protocol – and he should have invoked it.
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“These grace periods are actually playing into the hands of the EU. I wish we could get tough.
“We should threaten to invoke Article 16 and take unilateral action – that’s the only way to get the EU to the table.”
He then detailed the EU’s plan to punish Britain: “Over time businesses in Northern Ireland will look to the Republic for supplies, and not the UK, and Northern Ireland will turn away from the UK and towards the EU.
“And in the event of a border poll, we would lose Northern Ireland, that’s what the EU wants – unless the Government gets a grip.”
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Mr Habib added: “The UK needs to take the EU to task firmly.
“They want to dismember the UK, to set an example to other countries thinking of leaving the bloc.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol was originally agreed by the UK and EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
However, the deal keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods, which triggered anger among Brexiteers.
Last week, the UK published proposals for the protocol as Lord Frost demanded a major renegotiation.
The EU has already said it will not renegotiate the protocol but will “consider any proposals that respect the principles” of the deal.
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