Brexit agreement has 'real teeth' says Ursula von der Leyen
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Leigh Evans, editor-in-chief of the pro-Brexit website Facts4EU.org, was commenting on the European Commission President’s remarks on Tuesday after MEPs finally ratified the trade deal signed by Boris Johnson in December, finally enshrining the previously provisional deal in law. In it, she said: “The Agreement comes with real teeth – with a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for unilateral remedial measures where necessary.
“Let me be clear: We do not want to have to use these tools. But we will not hesitate to use them if necessary.”
Writing on the website, Mr Evans said: “Failed German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has made many speeches and statements since she was appointed at the last minute as EU Commission President, when the leaders of the EU27 countries could not agree on anyone else.
“She was then presented to the EU Parliament as the only candidate MEPs could vote for.
“Despite this massive and undemocratic advantage in having no opponent, she only scraped through by nine votes.
“Since then, her performance as EU Commission President – especially over the running of the disastrous EU vaccine programme – is now regarded by some as typical of her performance in her previous role as German Defence Minister, when she was described in the German press as their worst cabinet minister.
“Her speech in the EU Parliament stands up there as one of the most misguided in a long line of her miscalculations.”
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Mr Evans claimed her remarks gave the lie to the image Brussels tends to project, of an “inherently reasonable” organisation.
He said: “Please do not be fooled. The real subtext of this statement is that of insidious menace; a warning of hostile intent by a failing administration whose immediate and instinctive recourse is to blame others for their own failings.”
He explained: “A classic example is the court case which the EU Commission started on Wednesday against what it now refers to as “UK-Swedish AstraZeneca”.
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Mr Evans suggested Mrs von der Leyen’s remarks in the course of her speech ran counter to Article 1 of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which highlights the importance of good neighbourliness.
He said: “The world’s fifth-largest economy and one of its major soft and hard powers – the United Kingdom – is on the EU’s doorstep.
“For the EU’s Commission President to make a speech like this is a disgrace.”
The Parliament rubber-stamped the deal several months after it was ratified by the UK Parliament.
Commenting, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed it as the final step in a long journey, providing stability to Britain’s new relationship with the EU.
He added: “Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain.”
Lord David Frost, who negotiated the agreement with EU counterpart Michel Barnier, tweeted: Hugely welcome the overwhelming vote by the European Parliament for our trade agreement with the EU.
“Hope we can now begin a new chapter together as Europeans, characterised by friendly cooperation between sovereign equals.
“Thank you EU Commission and Michel Barnier for helping get us here.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the European Commission to offer her a chance to comment.
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