Brexit fury has erupted after a former MEP lashed out at by raging the UK is “still tied at the hip with the European Union” – three years after leaving the bloc. Ben Habib, a former Brexit Party MEP and huge critic of the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol, has launched a furious attack by accusing the Tories of “failing to deliver Brexit“. He said despite officially leaving the European bloc on January 31, 2020, the UK remains tied to hundreds of EU-managed laws, adding: “We haven’t got Brexit.”
“The Brexit ballot paper said: ‘Do you wish the UK to leave the EU?’ But the UK still hasn’t properly left.
“I’ve just had a Supreme Court ruling on the Protocol saying that Northern Ireland has been left behind in the EU Single Market for goods.
“It is subject to foreign laws, made by foreign bodies, adjudicated by a foreign court. That is not Brexit – we voted for the UK to leave the EU, not for Great Britain to leave.”
The Brexiteer and former MEP added: “If you look at the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, we’re bound into a level playing field on competition, state aid, employment and environmental law, so our Government can’t buy British first.
“That was a cornerstone of Brexit. If we wanted to nationalise one of our energy companies, we can’t do it because that would breach the state aid rules.
“We haven’t got Brexit. The UK is still tied at the hip with the EU and Northern Ireland simply hasn’t left. As we all know, three years on, we haven’t even got rid of any EU laws that are on our statute book.”
Mr Habib alleged the Tory Government has “already sold out to the EU” in negotiations with Brussels and that the UK is in danger of being dragged “closer and closer” to the bloc.
“We’re still endearing so much to the EU. Northern Ireland hasn’t left, we still haven’t reclaimed our fishing waters. The 17.4million people who voted for Brexit in June 2016 will feel terribly let down by the Government.”
On Monday, Mr Sunak insisted he is focused on the benefits of Brexit after it emerged senior minister Michael Gove was present at a summit last week addressing the EU withdrawal’s failings.
Several leading Brexiteers, including Lord Frost, Nigel Farage and Sir John Redwood, reacted furiously to the private conference.
Downing Street has insisted the Prime Minister had not been aware in advance of the cross-party gathering at the Ditchley Park retreat in Oxfordshire.
Mr Sunak came out fighting amid concerns – including from Unionists – that he could offer concessions to Brussels on the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He told broadcasters during a visit to Oldham: “I was proud to vote for Brexit and now as Prime Minister I’m keen to make sure we deliver the benefits of it.”
The Prime Minister insisted the K had already “taken control” of immigration system and was rolling out freeports, adding: “Now what we want to do is make sure we drive growth in our economy by seizing the opportunities of Brexit to do things differently.”
But he failed to say whether or not he supported last week’s summit, saying: “It is not about the meeting, I’m talking about what the Government is doing, and that’s making sure we capitalise on the benefits of Brexit.”
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