Johnson Told to Quit if Britain, EU Fail to Seal Trade Deal
A senior member of the parliament (MP) has challenged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step down from office if he fails to secure a trade deal with the European Union (EU).
Speaking a day after Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put off the latest deadline yet again, Conservative MP Roger Gale said: “If Mr. Johnson fails to reach an acceptable trade agreement with the EU, the prime minister will also have failed the people of the United Kingdom.”
The UK and the EU have until December 31 to reach a deal before the Brexit transition period ends. Otherwise, trade between the two parties would automatically adopt the rules of the World Trade Organization where tariffs would be imposed on each other’s goods thereby pushing costs higher for firms and consumers.
He said that in those circumstances, Johnson should give up his position for “somebody more able to pick up the pieces.”
Gale was a known critic of Johnson for a long time. He was the first-ever MP to call for the prime minister’s resignation if he fails to seal a deal.
“As a lifelong member of the Conservative Party, I believe that Mr. Johnson’s position as prime minister would be untenable,” Gale was quoted as saying.
“As an honorable man, he would have to make way for somebody more able to pick up the pieces, to reunite the whole country and to show the leadership that Great Britain and Northern Ireland deserve,” he added.
Gale said that he wanted a free trade agreement that was acceptable for the UK and not any old deal.
“The Prime Minister promised very clearly to the British people at the election that a deal would be easy to achieve and that the deal would be delivered. I believe that deal is in the interest of both of the United Kingdom and the European Union and I want an acceptable deal to be reached,” Gale said.
“If the Prime Minister fails, yet again, to keep a promise, and I believe at that point his position does indeed become untenable, as an honorable man, he would have to do as David Cameron did, of course, after the referendum and make way for somebody else.
Despite an 11-hour extension to negotiations, Johnson said earlier that no progress has been made as both cannot meet each other’s demands.
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