Brexiteer urges Boris to ‘fight back’ against EU ‘bullies’ as PM backs down in trade row

Boris Johnson urged by Habib to take action on NI protocol

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Mr Habib was speaking after the revelation that Mr Johnson had opted to delay the introduction of new bureaucratic Brexit paperwork on imports from the EU in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The property magnate tweeted Express.co.uk’s article, commenting: “This is symptomatic of the policy of appeasement followed by our govt when dealing with the EU.

“We make unilateral concessions; the EU does not reciprocate. When you’re dealing with a bully you need to fight back.”

Mr Habib subsequently told Express.co.uk: “You can’t spend your life in the schoolyard afraid of the bully.

“You have got to go up and face the bully or your life becomes intolerable.”

“And now we’ve just heard that they are extending it.

“They are treating Northern Ireland with such disdain and cruelty when they can see the problems that Northern Ireland is facing.

“And yet we are giving them more concessions. It just makes no sense to me – of course they are going to go on turning the screw.

“And every time they turn the screw, we concede.

“And the right word is appeasement – I know it brings back memories of World War 2 but that is what we are doing, we are appeasing a malign force.”

Mr Habib emphasised his enduring belief that instead of signing the Withdrawal Agreement which guaranteed Brexit at the end of 2019, Mr Johnson should have taken the UK out on WTO terms.

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He explained: “We’re the fifth-largest economy in the world – of course we can stand on our own two feet.

“Of course we can make grants and grants and cheap loans available to exporters who might be hit by any reprisals from the EU.

“We had the plan to leave without a deal, looking after our own interests, promoting British interests and attacking European Union interests.

“But instead of doing that we make no attempt we make no attempt to prepare to leave without a deal and we gave in to all the demands, and we’re still on that slippery slope.”

By the same token, Mr Habib likewise believes Boris Johnson should grasp the nettle by tearing up both the Withdrawal Agreement and the TCA.

He added: “It’s high time, it’s high time to go on the offensive.

“We spent £350billion locking down the economy – spend another £50billion. Getting exported. And our businesses, ready to terminate the deal with the EU.

“That’s all it needs – a few tens of billions to sort out every exporter in this country.

“Give them the money that they need for a period of six to eight months to a year. In order to put up with anything the EU might do.”

The Cabinet Office today said as well as helping businesses, the delayed timetable will minimise border disruption and boost the economic recovery.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said: “Although we recognise that many in the border industry and many businesses have been investing time and energy to be ready on time, and indeed we in Government were confident of being ready on time, we have listened to businesses who have made a strong case that they need more time to prepare.

“In reviewing the timeframes, we have given strong weight to the disruption which has been caused, and is still being caused, by Covid, and the need to ensure that the economy can recover fully.”

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