Peston: Brexit Party MEP says Johnson’s deal ‘honks’ in 2019
Mr Peston has become known for his outspokenness and energetic displays. Today, he appears on Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Weekend alongside comedian Omid Djalili. The veteran journalist will talk about his new novel, “The Whistleblower”, a debut political thriller set in the world of Westminster.
Mr Peston is no stranger to TV – after a long career in front of the camera for the BBC, he has presented his flagship political show, ‘Peston’ on ITV since 2018.
He has made a name for himself through his sharp analysis of the day’s political agenda.
Many commended the journalist when he criticised his former employer the BBC, claiming it had missed the “balance versus impartiality” in its coverage of Brexit.
In 2018, he told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: “The problem with the BBC, during the campaign, it put people on with diametrically opposed views and didn’t give their viewers and listeners any help in assessing which one was the loony and which one was the genius.
Robert Peston: The veteran journalist burst into laughter on hearing the Brexit jibe
ITV: He has had his own flagship show on ITV since 2018
“I do think that they went through a period of just not being confident enough.
“Impartial journalism is not giving equal airtime to two people one of whom says the world is flat and the other one says the world is round. That is not balanced, impartial journalism.”
However, Peston himself appeared to slip up when covering Brexit on his show.
It was 2019 and Boris Johnson was working on his Brexit deal with the EU.
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But he came under criticism after many claimed it looked much the same as what his predecessor, Theresa May, had proposed, which many Brexiteers rejected.
Alexandra Phillips, the then Brexit Party MEP for South East England, appeared on Peston and compared the deal to a “piece of cheese left out of the fridge”.
She said: “I think a bit like a piece of cheese left out of the fridge, Boris was trying to ram this thing through Parliament so it couldn’t be scrutinised.
“Now it’s out in the open air it’s going to start to honk.”
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Alexandra Phillips: The former Brexit Party MEP compared the deal to cheese left out the fridge
Brexit: Peston found it hilarious
Unable to hold it in, Peston burst into laughter, prompting the show’s other guests to break out in wry smiles.
Ms Phillips attempted to continue with her analysis but was forced to fall short as his laughter overpowered her.
Fellow guest, Ed Vaizey, a former Tory MP, admitted: “I was wondering where you were going with the cheese.”
Much has changed since then.
The UK went on to leave the bloc on January 31, 2020.
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Then, this year, Britain officially left the EU’s single market and customs union, marking an end to the grace period.
The Northern Ireland Protocol is the latest upset surrounding Brexit, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) threatening to leave Stormont if it is not changed.
But the EU continues to refuse to overhaul the legislation, citing the new arrangements under Brexit as the reason.
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Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice-president today warned that any attempt to renegotiate the post-Brexit agreement decided on between the UK and EU regarding Northern Ireland would cause “instability, uncertainty and unpredictability.”
He said the protocol must be “properly implemented”, and that it required compromises on both sides.
Mr Johnson told Parliament this week that the protocol in the way it was being applied was not protecting the Good Friday peace agreement.