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Brexit talks have so far proven unsuccessful and a no deal agreement is looking more likely as we come to the end of the transition period. Some MPs and MEPs have called on Boris Johnson to scrap the withdrawal agreement and push for no deal as a response. However, the director for the UK in a Changing Europe, Anand Menon, has argued backing out of the withdrawal agreement now would be a terrible look for Britain on the global stage.
While speaking to Jonathan Saxty on Brexit Watch, Mr Menon claimed he was unsympathetic to MPs who are now raising their issues on the withdrawal agreement.
He insisted they should have voiced their concerns before the UK and EU had agreed to the deal.
Mr Menon said: “I have little sympathy for Parliamentarians who signed something and then a year later say they didn’t read it properly.
“This withdrawal agreement was pushed through with their support last autumn.
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“It says exactly what it said then what it does now.
“It is now an international agreement that was lodged with the United Nations and has been ratified by both sides.”
Mr Menon also explained the poor reputation the UK could earn if it reneged on the deal.
He said: “We are genuinely planning to relaunch ourselves as Global Britain, seeking to sign trade deals around the world.
“If this is true, I think actually repudiating the first agreement we signed post-membership of the European Union would not be a very good look at all.”
Mr Menon also reflected on MPs and MEPs that are calling on Britain to scrap the withdrawal agreement this late in the talks.
He said: “I don’t take seriously this issue of getting rid of the withdrawal agreement.
“My sense is that that the people that are talking in that way, notably Iain Duncan Smith are doing this partly to hold Boris Johnson’s feet to the fire when it comes to the negotiations going on now.
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“It is to say that we are so Brexity that we don’t even like the withdrawal agreement so don’t you try messing with us when it comes to the future relationship because we really will kick up a fuss.
“That is how I am reading it at the moment.
“I don’t think there is any serious support either within or without Parliament for repudiating the withdrawal agreement.”
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