David Lammy – the shadow justice secretary – has branded Boris Johnson and his fellow Brexiteers as “vandals”.
Speaking out after reports that ministers are looking to torpedo trade talks with Brussels by reneging on the Withdrawal Agreement, Lammy – an avowedly pro-EU politician – said that those supporting the move were not “patriots”.
He tweeted: “Boris Johnson’s government wants to break its international commitments on Northern Ireland, avoid scrutiny over its Covid-19 failures, and trash the power of the public to challenge its decisions in court.
“They call themselves patriots, but they are vandalising our country.”
Lammy’s intervention comes as critics of Johnson – including leaders of the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland – branded the prime minister a “charlatan”.
Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill tweeted that any threat of backtracking on the protocol would be a “treacherous betrayal which would inflict irreversible harm on the all-Ireland economy and the Good Friday Agreement”.
Ms O’Neill stressed the need for the protocol to be fully implemented as soon as possible and to “avoid any border in Ireland”.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the move would constitute a repudiation by the Government of a treaty “freely negotiated by it” and which was described as “oven ready” by Mr Johnson.
She tweeted this would “significantly increase” the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, and the “resulting damage to the economy will be entirely Tory inflicted. What charlatans”.
Related: ‘Charlatan’: Top 10 reactions as Johnson plans to rip up Brexit deal