Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith has slammed the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement on Twitter despite voting for it in the Commons last year.
The agreement, supported by the Tories, laid out the terms of Britain’s divorce from the EU, which officially occurred on January 31.
But Smith, a fervent Eurosceptic and ex-Tory leader, has now moaned about the agreement he helped push through parliament.
The MP voted for the deal and also attempted to stop the House of Commons having more time to discuss the agreement, shortly before Boris Johnson called an election to force it through.
‘Whilst the UK wants to have a good trade relationship with the EU as a sovereign state, the EU has different ideas,’ he ranted. ‘They want our money and they want to stop us being a competitor. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) we signed last year sadly helps them.’
He complained that a clause ‘buried in fine print’ meant Britons ‘remain hooked’ into the EU’s loan book, the very agreement he denied MPs more time to debate in the Commons.
‘You can’t be half in the EU & half out, the problem is the WA. It costs too much & it denies us true national independence. This WA giving the EU future control over us has to go. Now Britain faces a £160billion EU loans bill AFTER Brexit,’ he posted alongside an article by The Sun.
Britain was a participant in The European Investment Bank and the European Financial Stability Mechanism which issues loans to support investment projects across the bloc.
The UK’s share of liability is around 12% which experts say translates into £160 billion of unpaid loans, four times Britain’s £39 billion divorce deal.
People have shared their frustration on Twitter.
Chris Grey, a professor in Organization Studies at Royal Holloway university, wrote: ‘So in 2016, despite having no detail on what Brexit meant, people knew exactly what they were voting for. But in 2019, despite having a detailed Withdrawal Agreement, MPs didn’t know what they were voting for.’
‘Maybe you should have read it before you voted for it?’ Anthony Crutch pointed out.
@Mandoline_Blue said: ‘Agreements are binding. It pays to read them first. If you don’t know that, what on earth are you doing in government?’
Andrew Parnall argued this was ‘evidence’ that leave voters could not have known what they voted for. ‘MPs like Mr Smith @MPIainDS certainly don’t,’ he added.
One user posted: ‘You tweeted that it was ‘oven ready’ and voted for it.’
Slough For Europe pointed out one of the greatest ironies: ‘Quite remarkable. Not only did IDS [Iain Duncan Smith] vote for this bill despite appearing now to have not read it. He also voted in favour of accelerating the process of the bill through parliament.’
John Ritchie saw the humour in the situation, writing: ‘In which Iain confirms that he is even thicker than you thought.’
The EU promptly slapped down the demand for the document to be rewritten, pointing out it had already been agreed by Boris Johnson.