EU slaps down Iain Duncan Smith’s demand to have Withdrawal Agreement rewritten

Iain Duncan Smith in a previous media appearance. Photograph: Sky News.

Iain Duncan Smith in a previous media appearance. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

The European Commission has rejected calls for the Withdrawal Agreement to be rewritten after Iain Duncan Smith complained about the Brexit document - despite voting for it.

Former Tory leader Smith complained that the EU 'want our money and they want to stop us being a competitor' and the Withdrawal Agreement 'sadly helps them'.

He said the Withdrawal Agreement 'costs too much', 'denies us true national independence' and 'has to go'.

Have your say

Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.

You may also want to watch:

'Now Britain faces a £160 billion EU loans bill after Brexit,' he claimed.

He was mocked after it was pointed out this was the 'oven ready' deal he triumphed at the start of the year.

Most Read

Brussels said the commitments made in the Withdrawal Agreement – the divorce deal signed by Boris Johnson and the 27 EU members – are reasonable and will stand.

Commission spokesman Eric Mamer insisted that the Withdrawal Agreement is a 'firm document' which is not going to be rewritten.

He said: 'I think it's very clear that we are not going to get into a debate with British politicians on liabilities or any other of the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement.

'The Withdrawal Agreement is there, it is now a firm document that has been accepted by both parties and it is the basis on which both sides are acting.

'In this document it is clear that that the United Kingdom has taken a certain number of completely normal legal commitments when it comes to its share of liabilities related to loans that would have been given by the EIB whilst the UK was still a member of the European Union.'

He added: 'What we can say is that the Withdrawal Agreement stands, that in it the United Kingdom has taken a certain number of perfectly reasonable commitments related to the time when it was still a member of the European Union relating to its share of liabilities on loans given out by the EIB, and we have nothing further to comment on this.'

Meanwhile, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator with the UK, stepped up his calls for Europeans to prepare for the end of the transition period at the end of the year.

'Changes are inevitable, with or without agreement on the new partnership,' he said.

'Companies and citizens must get ready.'

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.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus