European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, speaking to EU officials Wednesday repeated claims last week by the Brussels based body that the United Kingdom cannot now amend the Brexit agreement without harming its credibility.
As president of the executive branch of the European Union von der Leyen also added that opportunities for the UK to secure a trade deal with the EU were becoming fewer and fewer.
In the eyes of President von der Leyen, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is without reason now ignoring parts of the deal agreed when the British people voted to leave the European Union.
As such, with little left to argue with, von der Leyen is claiming that Mr. Johnson’s efforts to protect British trade integrity will harm the UK’s global standing.
“It cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded,” von der Leyen declared in her EU headquarters State of the Union address to the chamber’s attending members “This is a matter of law and trust and good faith.”
In attempting to emphasise her point, von der Leyen quoted a 1975 speech by former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Margaret Thatcher, like Boris Johnson was leader of the UK’s Conservative Party.
“Britain does not break treaties. It would be bad for Britain, bad for our relations with the rest of the world and bad for any future treaty on trade,” von der Leyen quoted Thatcher as saying.
Von der Leyen did not, however, refer to Mrs. Thatcher’s famous “No, no, no” response to Jacques Delors, then president of the European Commission or the fact that when she gave it, she was in possession of a news article written by a journalist named Boris Johnson who, as the (UK) Telegraph’s EC (European Community) correspondent warned of the dangers the EC posed to Britain’s national sovereignty.
Nor did von der Leyen seem to respect the British claim that the EU may “go to extreme and unreasonable lengths” vis-a-vis its treatment of the UK.
And when asked if the EU was acting in good faith on the issue by an opposition lawmaker in parliament in the UK, yesterday, Mr. Johnson said “I don’t believe they are,″ although he later said: “It is always possible that I am mistaken, and perhaps they will prove my suspicions wrong.″