Watch out, Britain: VDL promises to punish UK if Brexit deal broken – ‘We won’t hesitate!’

Brexit Britain 'is not in competition with the EU' says expert

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The European Commission said she would not “hesitate” to use mechanism in the agreement to keep the UK in line. Mrs von der Leyen made the warning ahead of the EU Parliament’s final vote to ratify the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. MEPs are concerned that the pact doesn’t give Brussels the power to ensure Downing Street sticks to the letter of the agreement it signed last December.

In a speech to the EU Parliament, Mrs von der Leyen said: “I want to recall what this agreement is, what it does and why it is so important to make it work.

“Firstly this agreement protects European citizens and their rights, it helps to avoid significant disruption for workers and travellers, from the fishing communities to the business community. Secondly, it protects European interests and preserves the integrity of our single market, it guarantees the robust level playing field – that this house always prioritised, rightly so.”

The Commission chief insisted that the agreement comes with “real teeth” for her to make sure Britain doesn’t break away too far from the bloc’s rules on environmental, social and taxation issues.

She added: “This agreement comes with real teeth with a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for unilateral remedial measures when necessary.

“Let me be very clear, we do not want to have to use these tools, but we will not hesitate to use them if necessary.

“They are essential to ensure full compliance with the TCA.”

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