No10 left furious at ex-Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major after his 'we are ...

No10 left furious at ex-Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major after his 'we are ...
No10 left furious at ex-Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major after his 'we are ...

Sir John Major faced the Government’s wrath last night after he accused Boris Johnson’s administration of taking a ‘we are the masters now’ approach.

The former Conservative Prime Minister yesterday said plans to trigger Article 16 in the row over the Northern Ireland Protocol were ‘colossally stupid’ and that Ministers had broken the terms of the Brexit agreement with the EU.

Under the protocol, customs and food safety checks are made on goods going into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. 

Triggering Article 16 would unilaterally suspend parts of the agreement.

Sir John Major faced the Government’s wrath last night after he accused Boris Johnson’s administration of taking a ‘we are the masters now’ approach

Sir John Major faced the Government’s wrath last night after he accused Boris Johnson’s administration of taking a ‘we are the masters now’ approach

A Government source told The Mail on Sunday that Sir John was trying to ‘settle scores over Brexit’, which he opposed, and that he had a ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of the protocol.

Sir John yesterday also heavily criticised the Government’s handling of the lobbying row involving Tory MP Owen Paterson.

He told the Today programme on Radio 4 that the Government’s actions in the Commons last week were ‘shameful’ and Mr Johnson’s administration was damaging the UK’s reputation overseas and treating Parliament ‘with contempt’.

The former Conservative Prime Minister yesterday said plans to trigger Article 16 in the row over the Northern Ireland Protocol were ‘colossally stupid’ and that Ministers had broken the terms of the Brexit agreement with the EU

The former Conservative Prime Minister yesterday said plans to trigger Article 16 in the row over the Northern Ireland Protocol were ‘colossally stupid’ and that Ministers had broken the terms of the Brexit agreement with the EU

Mr Johnson last week made a humiliating U-turn after attempting to rewrite Commons standards rules and prevent Mr Paterson being suspended for 30 days over breaching lobbying rules.

Sir John, whose Government was mired in sleaze scandals, said: ‘The striking difference is this. In the 1990s I set up a committee to tackle this sort of behaviour. Over the past few days we have seen today’s Government trying to defend this sort of behaviour.’

He added that ‘there is a general whiff of “we are the masters now” about their behaviour’ and accused Mr Johnson’s administration of being ‘un-Conservative’ – including over Brexit. 

‘This Government has done a number of things that have concerned me deeply,’ he said. 

‘They have broken the law, [with] the prorogation of Parliament. They have broken treaties – I have in mind the Northern Ireland Protocol. They have broken their word on many occasions.’

But former Brexit Secretary David Davis criticised ‘intrinsic Remainers’ such as Sir John for attacking the UK’s negotiating strategy while at the same time failing to criticise France for ‘clearly trying to make life difficult’.

This was a reference to French Prime

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