Stanley Johnson says Brexiteers like his son are in ‘cloud cuckoo land’ over Brexit deal
- Credit: BBC
Boris Johnson's father has said Brexiteers like his son are in 'cloud cuckoo land' over the EU's chances of backing down over a 'level playing field' to secure a deal.
Stanley Johnson said that those in the Downing Street that believe the EU will give Britain a free trade agreement without signing up to the 'level playing field' rules - which include protecting food and welfare standards - would be mistaken.
He said that the government would have to back down on that requirement, along with its position on the European Court of Justice, if it wants a deal at the end of the transition period.
The prime minister's father, a keen environmentalist, told the Sustainable Food Trust: 'Anybody who thinks, 'Oh well, we have a free trade agreement with the EU but we don't have to bother about harmonisation' is in cloud cuckoo land.
'Why on earth should anybody give us a free trade agreement if we're not going to apply the same sort of standards to our production processes as our competitors are?
You may also want to watch:
'When I hear people say, 'Oh yes and of course we're not going to have the European Court of Justice at all'.
'Well, I cannot believe that in the long run, they will allow us a free trade agreement if we are seen to be profiting from our legally independent status to have less than optimal animal welfare standards and environmental standards.'
- 1 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 2 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
- 3 House of Lords defies No 10 and votes to heavily defeat Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 4 Tory minister branded 'disgraceful' after dismissing child hunger in Britain as something that has 'been going on for years'
- 5 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 6 UK Business leaders describe Brexit call with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove as 'pointless'
- 7 Fool's gold? Nigel Farage wants you to invest your trust in his financial advice service
- 8 Leaked memo exposes government fears over rise in support for Scottish independence
- 9 Ex-civil service chief takes swipe at Dominic Cummings while criticising government's Covid-19 response
- 10 PMQs Review: The one where it was grim up north
Johnson's father, who previously backed Remain but switched to supporting Leave a year after the result, said he had tried to lobby the prime minister on the matter but explained: 'There is a whole machinery of government which is very difficult to bypass.'
A level playing field has been a key demand from EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, but one that has been continually rejected by Number 10.
Barnier warned last month: 'By the refusal to commit to the condition of open and fair competition, and to a balanced agreement on fisheries, the UK makes a trade agreement at this point unlikely.
'The UK still refuses to commit to maintaining high standards in a meaningful way.
Patrick Holden, chief executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, supported the former MEP's remarks.
He said: 'Stanley Johnson is absolutely right that if we do not mirror existing EU standards on the environment, food safety and animal welfare, they will never do a post-Brexit, a free-trade deal with us.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.