Billionaire Phones4U founder John Caudwell praises Boris Johnson for taking on ‘Brussels bully boys’

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Boris Johnson has been praised for standing up to ‘Brussels bully boys’ over a post-Brexit trade deal by a billionaire Tory donor who accused them of beating up Britain to avoid the collapse of the EU.

Phones4U entrepreneur John Caudwell accused the block of engaging in ‘absolutely abhorrent’ to make an example of Britain that would stop other nations following them out of the bloc.

He used an appearance on the BBC‘s Question Time to accuse European leaders of metaphorically beating Theresa May, Mr Johnson’s predecessor, ‘black and blue’ as she sought a withdrawal agreement.

It came as Mr Johnson faces a battle to pass legislation that would allow ministers to break international law to override part of the deal he signed last year to avoid customs checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

The Internal Market Bill legislation has been criticised by Tory grandees and the EU had threatened legal action if it is implemented.

Mr Caudfield, 67, told Question Time: ‘They are bullying us and beating us up. They beat Theresa May black and blue, and they have continued to try and do it all the way through. 

‘Fortunately Boris rose to the challenge and fought back. This behaviour by Brussels I find absolutely abhorrent, but of course the reason they are doing it is because they have got no option.

‘Because if they gave Britain an easy ride the other European countries would see that and potentially there would be an exodus, possibly a mass exodus, possibly a complete collapse of the Union.

Of course that is not what Brussels wants so they will use any means, fair or foul, to protect their situation. 

Mr Johnson faces a battle to pass legislation that would allow ministers to break international law to override part of the deal he signed last year to avoid customs checks between Northern Ireland and Britain

Mr Johnson faces a battle to pass legislation that would allow ministers to break international law to override part of the deal he signed last year to avoid customs checks between Northern Ireland and Britain

Phones4U entrepreneur John Caudwell accused the block of engaging in 'absolutely abhorrent' to make an example of Britain that would stop other nations following them out of the bloc.

Phones4U entrepreneur John Caudwell accused the block of engaging in ‘absolutely abhorrent’ to make an example of Britain that would stop other nations following them out of the bloc.

Mr Johnson yesterday risked worsening the row as he said his proposals to override the Withdrawal Agreement were necessary in order to prevent the EU from pushing an ‘abusive or extreme’ interpretation of what was agreed in the accord struck last year.

The Government sparked a furious row with the EU after it published its UK Internal Market Bill last week.

The legislation will enable the UK to unilaterally make decisions on key issues, like customs arrangements between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, contained within the Withdrawal Agreement.

Brussels is adamant that the decisions must be made by a joint committee made up of people from both sides – as set out in the treaty.

But the Government argues its proposals are necessary in order to protect the integrity of the UK should the two sides be unable to agree terms. 

Michel Barnier has told EU ambassadors he believes a trade deal with the UK can still be agreed despite mounting tensions between the two sides after Boris Johnson accused the bloc of being ‘abusive’ during talks. 

The EU’s top negotiator is said to have informed diplomats from the bloc’s 27 member states at a meeting yesterday that he still remained hopeful of a deal being done but that the coming days will be decisive. 

One source with knowledge of the meeting told the Reuters news agency that ‘Barnier still believes a deal is possible though the next days are key’. 

A second diplomatic source said ‘the hope is still there’ while a third insisted Mr Barnier had ‘stressed he will keep negotiating until his last breath’.   

Relations between the two sides have become increasingly strained in recent days after Mr Johnson announced his intention to tear up parts of the Brexit divorce deal, a move which ministers have admitted will break international law. 

Source


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