‘Utter tosh!’ Blair and Major slammed as ex-PMs sound ‘bankrupt’ Brexit warning to Boris

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Tony Blair and Sir John Major joined forces to urge MPs to reject the Government’s proposed Internal Market Bill as they warned of the “embarrassing” consequences the legislation will have for the UK. Boris Johnson has insisted the Bill will ensure the sanctity of the internal market is protected in the event of Brexit talks concluding in a no deal scenario. Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne dismissed the former Prime Ministers’ warning as “utter tosh” as he insisted the UK will not be violating international law as the European Union allegedly did in the past.

Speaking to talkRADIO, Sir Desmond said: “It’s utter tosh.

“Look at the European Union’s record on abrogating international agreements and rulings, particularly with the World Trade Organisation.

“International obligations that it’s under and it’s made that it has frankly ignored. Everyone watching will see what is going on.

“We’re taking a precaution against a specific threat that has been made to us in the trade negotiations.”

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Sir Desmond continued: “If you don’t give way and let those trade negotiations proceed along the way that we, the EU, would want them to proceed, you know what we will do if it comes to no deal? We exclude your trade from Northern Ireland.

“We’re taking a proportionate measure against the possibility of that threat. This Bill does not break any international obligation at all.

“It’s purely a precaution against those circumstances arising. And everyone else in the world will see what’s going on.

“To make these factious comparisons, how on earth can we do this and then criticise China for what is doing in Hong Kong?”

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He added: “To make that kind of comparison shows the bankruptcy of your argument.”

Despite Sir Desmond defending the Government’s position, other Tory MPs have warned they are prepared to rebel against the Internal Market Bill.

Sir Bob Neill tabled an amendment to the bill introducing a “parliamentary block”, effectively forcing Mr Johnson to consult with Parliament before any of the clauses of the legislation takes effect.

And former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox announced on Sunday he is not prepared to support a piece of law that would effectively break an international treaty.


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Sir Geoffrey accused the Prime Minister of doing “unconscionable” damage to Britain’s international reputation.

He insisted the “unpalatable” implications the withdrawal agreement would have on Northern Ireland in the event of a no deal had in “no doubt” known to MPs when they backed the deal in January.

Sir Geoffrey added: “We, the British government and Parliament, have given our word.

“Our honour, our credibility, our self-respect and our future influence in the world all rest upon us keeping that word.”

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