By Helene Fung
The European Union Parliament said in a statement on Friday (local time) that it would not approve any new trade deals between the EU and the United Kingdom, until the UK fully implements the agreed Brexit deal.
Any new EU trade deal with the UK requires the EU parliament’s approval before it can be enacted.
It is understood that during emergency talks on Thursday (local time), the EU had warned the UK that it could face legal action if it does not ditch controversial elements of the Internal Market Bill by the end of September.
The bill, to be formally debated in the House of Commons on Monday, addresses the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is the part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement designed to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland.
Britain issued a statement stating their view on Thursday (local time) that “Northern Ireland is fully part of the customs territory of the United Kingdom and that there will be unfettered access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom.”
If it is enacted into British law, the UK would be able to modify or rescind rules relating to the movement of goods between Britain and Northern Ireland if the UK and EU are unable to agree on a trade deal.
There are still five weeks of negotiations time left before Mr Johnson’s 15 October deadline – after which he says he is prepared to simply “walk away”.