In a stark warning, Mr Bridgen claimed Brussels was being inflexible over trade in Northern Ireland in order to show member states the true cost of leaving the EU. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Bridgen claimed the EU was trying to “punish” the UK over Brexit and using Northern Ireland as the “stick to beat” the UK. He said: “They always wanted to punish us by annexing Northern Ireland.
“So that was to basically try and use it as a long-running stick they can beat us with forever.
“It also sends a message to other countries that this is what happens to you if you try and leave the European Union.
“It’s a poor association that has to blackmail its members.”
The EU and UK have been engaged in a bitter row over the issues in Northern Ireland and the protocol.
Due to the protocol, Northern Ireland has been left in the EU’s single market and applies some customs union arrangements.
In order to try and support traders, the UK extended the amnesty for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland until October.
This means certain goods such as agri-foods, soil and chilled meat products will not have checks applied on them when entering Northern Ireland.
Due to this move, the EU has accused the UK of breaking the international agreement and has begun legal proceedings against the Government.
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He added: “They currently are not our friends. It was a pretty bitter divorce.
“And there’s a lot of animosity certainly on the EU side, which has been exacerbated by our success as an independent nation in rolling out the vaccine and, and the negative publicity that the EU has got on the continent, which is unprecedented, they’re not used to it.
“You know, and they accuse us of breaking treaties and Nike in good faith.
“But they can immediately forget that they actually did trigger article 16 for a few hours until politically they were forced to withdraw.”
The EU-UK Joint Committee will hold discussions over the issues surrounding Northern Ireland.
The two do have a month to resolve issuing on trade wherein which legal the procedure can be withdrawn.
Before the end of the year, the EU had also begun legal proceedings over the UK Internal Market Bill.
After intense negotiations, the legal threat was withdrawn, thus sparking confidence in London the EU may do this again after talks.
Indeed, the UK has insisted the move to extend the amnesty was sensible and was intended to be temporary.