‘No more games or threats’ EU sends Sunak Brexit warning

Rishi Sunak announced as the new Prime Minister

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The former Chancellor won the support of Conservative MPs to succeed Liz Truss as Tory leader on Monday and will enter Downing Street less than two months after he lost the last race. Mr Sunak will be the UK’s first Hindu prime minister, the first of Asian heritage, and the youngest for more than 200 years at the age of 42.

Mr Sunak now has the daunting task of leading the nation through an economic crisis only exacerbated by the chaotic legacy of Ms Truss, who was ousted after only six weeks in office.

The newly appointed Prime Minister was also welcomed by a veiled Brexit threat from Germany, minutes after he was confirmed the winner of the Tory race.

German MEP Bernd Lange, a member of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party, tweeted: “Good luck for the future task Rishi Sunak! We continue to rely on a constructive EU-UK partnership oriented towards the solution of concrete problems. However, the basis for this remains the jointly signed treaties. No more tactical games and threats.

“The EU is looking forward working together on practical solutions. The people in Northern Ireland deserve and expect it.

“Therefore: The NI Protocol Bill must be taken off the table as soon as possible. Let’s go back to normal in these troubled times.”

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In the 2016 Brexit referendum Mr Sunak supported Leave, to the reported dismay of David Cameron who saw him as one of the Conservatives’ brightest prospects among the new intake.

Given his first Government post, as a junior local government minister, by Mr Cameron’s successor, Theresa May, he was an early backer of Mr Johnson for leader when she was forced out amid the fallout over Brexit.

The key issue of trade with Northern Ireland is still being negotiated with Brussels. Mr Sunak would face pressure to get a deal that rewrites parts of the initial exit agreement without conceding to a lasting EU say over trade between Britain and Northern Ireland.

He will also face calls to follow through on government promises to control immigration into the country, an issue which many Conservative lawmakers see as critical to winning over voters at the next election.

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On Northern Ireland, Mr Sunak previously said he would push on with legislation designed to unilaterally overrule the Brexit deal while still trying to negotiate with the EU. The bill, currently in parliament, has been heavily criticised by the EU.

On Brexit more broadly, in August he promised to “keep Brexit safe” and set up a new governmental unit to review EU regulations that still apply in British law.

In the summer leadership contest, he said he was proud to come from a family of immigrants but he believed Britain must control its borders, and would retain a plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

He also refused to rule out Britain’s withdrawal from the European Court of Human Rights.

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