Brexit erupts: EU demands Boris 'respect commitments' as PM makes fresh no deal warning
The European Commission called on Britain to outline how it planned to move Brexit forward if talks between the UK Government and the bloc are ever to progress. Vanessa Mock, a European Commission spokeswoman, told a regular media briefing in Brussels, moments after Boris Johnson delivered his latest no deal threat to Brussels, that the British Prime Minister had to “respect commitments” made to the European Union by his predecessor Theresa May.
Ms Mock said: “President (Jean-Claude Juncker) told Prime Minister Johnson on 25 July that we’re available should the United Kingdom wish to hold talks and clarify its position in more detail.
“We’re ready to analyse any concrete proposals that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement, and also ready to rework the future relationship as outlined in the political declaration.
“The UK knows well that our doors remain open to that effect.
“But for the talks to progress the UK government needs to explain its ideas on how it sees the way forward, respecting the commitments it took earlier in these negotiations.”
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The attack comes after the Prime Minister answered questions from the British public on Wednesday afternoon during a “People’s PMQs” and hit out at the “terrible collaboration” between the EU and UK MPs to halt Britain’s departure from the EU.
Mr Johnson held the live Q&A session on Facebook and was asked about how the Prime Minister intends to leave the EU with “no movement” from Brussels and “opposition” in Parliament.
The Prime Minister replied to a questioner from Cheshire: “Luther, you have asked the crucial question, there is a terrible kind of collaboration going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends.
“And our European friends are not moving in their willingness to compromise, they’re not compromising at all on the withdrawal agreement even though it’s been thrown out three times, they’re sticking to every letter, every comma of the withdrawal agreement – including the backstop – because they still think Brexit can be blocked in parliament.
“The awful thing is the longer that goes on, the more likely it is of course that we will be forced to leave with a no-deal Brexit.
“That’s not what I want, it’s not what we’re aiming for but we need our European friends to compromise. The more they think there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position.”
The Prime Minister has repeatedly said the UK will be leaving the European Union with or without a deal by the end of October this year “come what may”.
Mr Johnson has demanded the EU ejected the controversial backstop mechanism from the withdrawal agreement, before the UK returns to talks with Brussels.
The European Union has so far stood firm, refusing to budge on the withdrawal agreement – pushing the UK towards a no deal exit.
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Former chancellor Philip Hammond has warned a no deal Brexit would be a “betrayal” of what Britons voted for in the 2016 EU referendum.
Mr Hammond also hit out at “those who are pulling the strings in Downing Street, those who are setting the strategy”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, he said: “Boris Johnson has told me privately, and he’s told the country publicly, that he is determined to get a deal, and confident that he can get one. But I fear there are other people around him whose agenda is different.”
The Speaker John Bercow, who has repeatedly given opportunities to pro-EU MPs in the Commons to frustrate the Brexit process, has warned he “will fight with every breath in my body” to stop any attempt by the Prime Minister to suspend Parliament in order to deliver Brexit on October 31.