Politics

‘Point the finger back at the EU’ Tugendhat pledges to fix Boris‘ problem with Brussels’

Tom Tugendhat says we need 'to point fingers' back at Brussels

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Speaking to GB News, the Tory leadership candidate said he would “stick to” the promises made by Boris Johnson in 2019 to get Brexit done. Mr Tugendhat said he would first ensure the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill is passed and then “change the way these negotiations” with the EU are being carried out. He accused Brussels of “pointing the finger” at Britain unfairly and said the conversation needs to be extended to the likes of Germany, France and Italy to undermine Brussels’ authority. 

Asked if he would “stick closely” to Boris Johnson’s 2019 manifesto, Mr Tugendhat said: “Yes, that is exactly what I would do. 

“And, by the way, one of the other things I would be sticking to and making sure we deliver is Brexit because what Boris has done is got most of Brexit done. 

“Let’s be honest, there is still Northern Ireland and that is a really big issue. Let’s not kid ourselves that that is going to be easy. It’s not. 

“We’re going to need to do two things. Firstly, we’re going to have to pass the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. 

“The next thing we need to do is change the way these negotiations [with the EU] are done because the Europeans have been messing us around here. 

“They played for time with Theresa [May] and they basically kicked it into the long grass with Boris, pointing fingers at him.

“What we need to do is point the finger back at them. We need to reset this debate. 

“We need to start having this conversation in Germany, in France, in Italy and all over the place because people in Europe agree with us and want to work with us. What we have got a problem with is Brussels.” 

Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union over the Northern Ireland protocol have reached an impasse of late. 

The UK Government is now trying to pass the Protocol Bill to override impositions made by the EU on trade in the Irish Sea. 

And the deliverance of Brexit has become a central focus of the Tory leadership contest as candidates look to win over the Conservative membership. 

Mr Tugendhat, who was trailing in fifth after the second round of voting for the new leader, has made several pledges to make sure Brexit gets done. 

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As did former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who promised to “make Brexit sing” after the debate. 

The former Chancellor, who voted to Leave in 2016, said there is more to be done in order to maximise the UK’s exit from the EU. Writing for The Sun, he said: “We got Brexit done, now I’ll make Brexit sing.”

Meanwhile, Mr Tugendhat may have turned his fortunes around following the televised debate on Friday. 

More than a third of respondents to a snap poll rating the candidates’ performances during the debate said Mr Tugendhat was the most outstanding contender. 

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