A Brexit-voting ex-MEP is taking Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal to the Supreme Court, claiming it is “worse than remaining” in the European Union.
Writing in the Daily Express, Ben Habib claimed that the prime minister’s “oven ready” agreement “has broken the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and undermined the Good Friday Agreement”.
Habib, an ardent backer of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union, said: “I said it in 2019 and I say it again: Mr Johnson’s deal is worse than remaining in the EU.
“If you think I say so because I am a remoaner, think again. I am a steadfast Brexiteer. His wretched deal did not deliver Brexit. It only delivered monumental constitutional self-harm.”
‘Robbed Northern Ireland’
Citing a recent judgement by the Court of Appeal in Belfast, Habib launched a withering criticism of the Northern Ireland Protocol – which he suggested was tearing apart Britain’s centuries-old union.
“First and foremost it has now twice been decided that crucial aspects of the Act of Union 1800 have been set aside to make way for the Protocol,” he said.
“Justice Colton, last year, concluded they had been “impliedly” repealed. The Court of Appeal, aware of the political sensitivity of repealing the Act of Union, settled on claiming it to have been subjugated for as long as the Protocol remains in place. Either way, the Protocol has robbed Northern Ireland of its rightful place in the United Kingdom.
“The Court of Appeal argued that Parliament clear-sighted gave the Protocol this effect. Can you imagine any MP voting deliberately to end the United Kingdom? You would think such a vote might capture their and the electorate’s attention?!
“And this is against a backdrop of the Prime Minister repeatedly telling the House the Protocol could be fixed with just a little pragmatism and common sense; that it is not a constitutional issue. To say we have a Prime Minister in contempt of Parliament is to seriously underestimate the extent of his deception.”
He continued: “Second, the Court put paid to the consent mechanisms set out in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. It concluded these could be ignored and the Protocol, with its new constitution, could be foisted on Northern Ireland without its people’s and/or cross-community consent. The Belfast Agreement offers no protections to Unionists. So much so that Baroness Hoey, who campaigned for that Agreement in 1998, has overnight said it is finished. And indeed it is finished. It if only serves Nationalists, the Agreement has no value.
“Third, the Court ruled that the human rights of British citizens living in Northern Ireland are unaffected by foreign laws being imposed on them without their having any right to vote on these or object to them. British citizens in Northern Ireland are second class and under the boot of the EU.
“All the while Her Majesty’s Government sits idly by while Boris’s partitioning of the UK takes root. The Prime Minister and Mrs Truss, both of whom live in fear of EU reprisals, are now hiding behind the Ukrainian crisis as their latest excuse for doing nothing. As serious as Ukraine is, it does not excuse them from doing their jobs.
“They need urgently to remember they were not elected by the people of Ukraine. They were not even elected by the people of Great Britain. They were elected by the people of the United Kingdom.”