The European Union is reportedly threatening to target areas represented by government ministers and Brexiteers with Russia-like sanctions to pressure them not to scrap the Northern Ireland Protocol which gives it continuing power over the British province.
Northern Ireland — despite being an integral part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — was left partly under EU control for the purposes of customs and regulations in the one-sided exit deal Boris Johnson agreed with Brussels.
However, the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are now claiming that the British government may legislate to abrogate parts of this Northern Ireland Protocol unilaterally, as it is being used to disrupt internal trade and has caused British unionists in the Province to refuse to form a regional government alongside Irish nationalists — a requirement under the Good Friday peace deal between them.
The EU, as punishment, is threatening to impose almost Russia-like tariffs specifically calculated to damage British decision-makers and Brexit supporters, according to reports.
“It is a longstanding practice of the [European] Commission to target its trade defence policy to avoid contingent effects and to support political objectives,” a source described as a “senior EU diplomat” told The Telegraph, a notionally right-leaning outlet which supported Brexit and is close to Britain’s governing Conservative Party.
The newspaper said it was suggested to them that businesses in so-called ‘Red Wall’ constituencies — former strongholds of the left-wing Labour party, whose traditional colour is red, in Britain’s post-industrial heartlands, which flipped Conservative to “get Brexit done” in the 2019 general election en masse — would be among the first to be targeted by the EU, in order to harm the electoral prospects of their generally eurosceptic new MPs.
“It was part of the conversation with the U.S. and has been on the table multiple times over the past couple of years whenever the UK threatened to blow up the [Brexit] deal,” said their diplomatic source, referring to the EU having previously targeted U.S. exports including Levi’s jeans, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Florida orange juice, and bourbon whiskey, in order to damage then-President Donald Trump in key swing states.
Britain’s prime minister at the time, the Remain-voting Theresa May, took the incredible step of backing Brussels when it launched this trade war, despite the fact she was supposed to be negotiating her way out of the bad Brexit deal it was imposing on her and setting the stage for a British-American trade pact at the time.
The Telegraph suggested that, in addition to products made by businesses in areas represented by Red Wall MPs, the EU would also use tariffs against exports from constituencies represented by “elected Cabinet ministers and vocal Brexiteers” — causing one prominent Northern Irish politician to accuse Brussels of “threatening to interfere directly in British elections”.
Rees-Mogg: No More Dancing to EU’s Wishes, Northern Ireland Deal Must Change or Gohttps://t.co/bR8QisoMgb
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 13, 2022
“It is frankly appalling that the EU are threatening to interfere directly in British elections by targeting the seats of Brexiteer MPs in areas which voted heavily to Leave,” said Sammy Wilson, a senior MP for the pro-British, pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which is staunchly opposed to the Northern Ireland Protocol, in comments to Breitbart London.
“Perhaps it is not surprising, however, given that during the  referendum campaign media outlets, trade bodies, and industry spokespeople who received money from the EU sought to influence the outcome of the vote and failed miserably,” observed the Ulsterman, who has pulled no punches in criticising the British government for its failure to take action on the Protocol until now.
“To blatantly admit that they intend to target individual MPs’ seats illustrates the arrogance of the EU and once again, the undemocratic nature of that body,” he added.
Wilson expressed surprise that the bloc would appear willing to engage in a trade war so flippantly, given the damage it would inflict on the “already weakened economies” of its member-states amid the sanctions war with Russia and general cost of living crisis, exacerbated by naturally-occurring issues such as a lack of rainfall which has left German farmers facing major crop failures, for example.
“The Irish in particular, who are very dependent on the GB [Great British] market, should be worried about this threat,” he added, noting the supply chain issues EU companies already suffering as a result of the war on the lingering effects of the COVID-10 pandemic.
“I would have thought that the EU would be seeking to co-operate with the Foreign Secretary [Liz Truss] rather than going to war with her,” he concluded.
“The much-lauded Brexit Freedoms Bill will be dismissed as a joke by many in Northern Ireland,” said Sammy Wilson MP, as Boris's deal means “EU custom laws still apply and can be enforced by the European Court of Justice” there and “That is not Brexit.” https://t.co/1s25MPfBMN
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 1, 2022