Former Brexit Party MEP says Withdrawal Agreement he voted for has already ‘failed the UK’

PUBLISHED: 16:46 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:53 21 July 2020

(left to right) Nigel Farage with former Brexit Party MEPs Ben Habib and Annunziata Rees-Mogg at the launch the European Parliament elections campaign in Coventry. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

(left to right) Nigel Farage with former Brexit Party MEPs Ben Habib and Annunziata Rees-Mogg at the launch the European Parliament elections campaign in Coventry. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

A former Brexit Party MEP has attacked the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by Boris Johnson has already ‘failed the United Kingdom’, despite voting for it alongside his party colleagues earlier this year.

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Ben Habib claimed that what was agreed between the UK and EU was flawed, and that it would prevent Boris Johnson from fulfilling Brexit promises on borders, money and sovereignty.

Speaking to the Express, Habib said: “We can’t be certain of getting the best deal possible in these Brexit trade negotiations.

“In many respects, we have already failed the United Kingdom.

“When we signed the withdrawal agreement last year, we signed up to the Northern Irish protocol.”


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He said that Johnson had failed to do what was best for the UK.

“The Northern Irish protocol is a binding international treaty.

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“That aspect of the withdrawal agreement commits Northern Ireland, therefore any company that has offshoots from Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, to EU state laws.

“It commits Northern Ireland to EU tax laws as far as excise duties and VAT are concerned.

“It commits Northern Ireland to phytosanitary and sanitary measures, as determined by the European Union.

“And finally commits Northern Ireland to have a border down the Irish sea, between Great Britain and itself.”

He added: “All these things make it impossible for the prime minister to deliver his manifesto pledges of taking back control of our cash, laws and borders.”

But Habib earlier this year joined his colleagues in backing the Withdrawal Agreement in the European Parliament.

At the time he told Brexit Central: “When the Withdrawal Agreement is presented to the European Parliament to be approved later this month, I shall vote in favour of it being ratified.”

But he also acknowledged: “The agreement itself is a bad one and my faith in the Conservative Party has been very badly shaken, but it is not for me to stand in the way of a genuine democratic mandate, especially since the undertakings given by the government would result in a genuine Brexit.”

Last July the Brexiteer claimed that it was the fault of Remainers that the UK was suffering economic turbulence after the referendum vote, claiming they had “hijacked” a no-deal Brexit to make it sound like a “disaster”.

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