September 14, 2020
Tony Blair and John Major, The Two Former United Kingdom Prime Ministers from opposing parties, slammed premier Boris Johnson over his effort to part up the divorce agreement his government negotiated.
Blair, who was the former Labour Party prime minister, and Major his predecessor, said Johnson’s effort to undo sections of the agreement dealing with Northern Ireland poses a threat to peace and the U.K.’s global credibility.
Johnson’s maneuver is “shocking” and “imperils” the Good Friday accord that led to more than two decades of peace in Northern Ireland.
It raises questions beyond the impact on Ireland, the peace process and negotiations for a trade deal. It questions the very integrity of our nation.
Johnson proposed the bill in the final stages of negotiations on a post-Brexit EU-U.K. trade agreement.
The E.U. has given the U.K. three weeks to amend legislation or face legal action, and Johnson is facing a revolt by members of his party over the bill.
“We both opposed Brexit,” Blair and Major wrote. “We both accept it is now happening. But this way of negotiating, with reason cast aside in pursuit of ideology and cavalier bombast posing as serious diplomacy, is irresponsible, wrong in principle and dangerous in practice.”
On Friday, Johnson tried to defuse the brewing revolt in parliament with a 30 minutes conference with Conservative Party colleagues.
Rebel Conservative M.P.s are unlikely to defeat the government on the bill, according to two Tory MPs.
However, they are trying to enlist former Prime Minister Theresa May to front the campaign against this plan.