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Former Brexit secretary says government should ‘shrug off’ EU legal threat

European Commission negotiator Michel Barnier meets with former Brexit secretary David Davis - Credit: PA

Former Brexit secretary David Davis has claimed the government should “shrug off” the EU threat of legal action over the Internal Market Bill which breaches international law.

The Brexiteer told talkRADIO: “I don’t think it’s something we should take terribly seriously.

“The first thing to understand is this was going to happen.

“If the EU didn’t bring it, some member of the EU might have brought it, or some citizen of the EU might have brought it. It was going to happen – the moment the minister says it was illegal – I happen to think he was actually wrong. But the moment it happened, it was going to happen.”

He continued: “This could be one of two things. It could be a routine first step… and that’s what Mark Rutte the prime minister of the Netherlands said yesterday.

“Or – and I think it’s more likely – it’s a bit of posturing, it’s a part of the negotiation process. And it’s an attempt to put more pressure on us.”

The MP, who was initially in charge of Brexit talks under he resigned, continued: “The European Union use every single lever available to them – good bad or indifferent – that’s what we’ve seen over the last few years.

“All sorts of wrong assertions, all sorts of claims that aren’t true, all sorts of posturing.

“That’s why I think we should just ignore it. The truth is it will only be relevant in the event of no-deal and under those circumstances I’m not at all sure frankly how much leverage the European Union and courts have over us.

“So frankly I’d just shrug it off, and say ‘so what’ and let’s get on with the negotiations.”