It probably isn’t what Brexiter politicians wanted to hear, the hero of the right wing Margaret Thatcher, being quoted by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to persuade the UK to stick to their commitments.
Mrs von der Leyen said Margaret Thatcher had always insisted the UK honoured its treaty commitments.
She quoted the former prime minister as saying: “Britain does not break treaties. It would be bad for Britain, bad for relations with the rest of the world and bad for any future treaty on trade.”
Mrs von der Leyen added: “This was true then and this is true today. Trust is the foundation of any strong partnership.”
The comments were made during the annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament. She said both sides had agreed it was the only way to guarantee the Northern Ireland peace process.
She said trust would be undermined if the UK started to go back on its international treaty obligations.
The warning came after the Government issued legislation enabling ministers to override provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland.
US trade warning
Some US politicians are concerned about the UK government’s plan to override parts of the Brexit divorce deal.
While negotiating a free trade agreement is a matter for President Donald Trump and the White House, it can only be implemented if it is approved by Congress.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has previously warned that Congress would never pass a trade agreement it believed could “imperil” the Good Friday Agreement.
Ms Pelosi was due to meet Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab who was in Washington on Wednesday for talks with senior US figures, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Mrs von der Leyen’s speech was met with applause, she also told the audience: “This Withdrawal Agreement took three years to negotiate and we worked relentlessly on it line-by-line, word-by-word, and together we succeeded.
“The European Union and the UK jointly agreed that it was the best and only way for ensuring peace on the island of Ireland and we will never backtrack on that.
“This agreement has been ratified by this house and the House of Commons. It cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded, disapplied.
“This is a matter of law and trust and good faith.”