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Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith hit out at EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier while speaking in the House of Commons. Mr Duncan Smith argued that Mr Barnier was making hollow threats in the trade talks. He claimed that the EU would back down on their aggressive stance and eventually relent that Britain would be granted third-country status.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “Mr Barnier has threatened our negotiators that if they don’t agree with him they would not have us at the status of a third country.
“Might I add he hasn’t wanted to move anywhere near the joint committee to discuss these matters.
“It seems to me a bizarre kind of threat to make.”
The Brexiteer argued why he believed Mr Barnier would eventually back down from his stance.
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He added: “The list of these countries is long and peculiar.
“Belarus would have third-country status, we wouldn’t have it apparently.
“The Central African Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, the list goes on and on.
“I think there are now 137 countries who would have third-country status.”
Mr Duncan Smith then began mocking Mr Barnier for his claims against the UK.
He said: “But apparently to Mr Barnier it would be quite acceptable for a country that has been very close to the EU for years would not have third-country status.
“I think it is a hollow threat by the way but it is a peculiar threat to make.
“This is a point I want to make, it gives a bad indication of bad faith.
Mr Duncan Smith closed by defending the Government’s determination to make amendments to the Brexit Bill.
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He said: “The EU should not want to end up having the UK just running around on your laws.
“This is not part of what the agreement was meant to be.
“Therefore we are not prepared to see our constitutional settlement trashed.”
Boris Johnson’s determination to amend the Withdrawal Agreement has been deemed one of the reasons the talks have remained in a stalemate.
The European Commission has said that the legislation has ultimately “seriously damaged trust” between the EU and UK.
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