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In a sensational development for the entire process, the UK is planning legislation which would effectively dump a crucial part of the original deal relating to Northern Ireland. The internal market bill is set to published on Wednesday – and it will “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement” in areas related to state aid and Northern Ireland customs, the Financial Times has claimed. Mr Johnson has thrown down the gauntlet by imposing a deadline of October 15 to strike a deal with the bloc.
The Prime Minister will argue there is no point thinking about timelines beyond that date
He will add: “If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.”
Britain left the EU on January 31 but talks aimed at reaching a new trade deal before the end of the transition period on December 31 have so far hit snags on state aid rules and fishing.
Without a deal more than £750billion in trade between Britain and the EU could be thrown into uncertainty with rules over everything from car parts and medicines to fruit and data.
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7.29am update: Coveney said dumping WA would be “very unwise”
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who played a key role in negotiating the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland protocol, said on Twitter that the reported move “would be a very unwise way to proceed.”
Senior members of Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fein and SDLP parties, the region’s two largest Irish nationalist groups, also criticised the British government’s plan, as reported by the newspaper.
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