UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government have spent much of this week battling the European Union (EU) and a European human rights court, all while denying allegations of breaking international law and pandering to his party's base, Luke McGee stressed in an analysis for CNN.
Photo Insert: On Tuesday, the Johnson administration found itself clashing with yet another European institution, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), after being forced to abandon a flight carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda.
On Monday, Liz Truss, Johnson's foreign secretary, unveiled the long-awaited Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, a piece of legislation that, if passed, would allow the British government to unilaterally override parts of the Brexit deal reached with the EU in 2019.
The EU responded two days later by launching legal proceedings against the UK for failing to implement parts of the protocol to date, while Maro efovi, vice-president of the European Commission, stated that "there is no legal nor political justification whatsoever for unilaterally changing an international agreement... let's call a spade a spade: this is illegal."
On Tuesday, the Johnson administration found itself clashing with yet another European institution, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), after being forced to abandon a flight carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda.
In April, the United Kingdom announced a deal under which asylum seekers in the country could be relocated and granted asylum in Rwanda. The UN's human rights agency had previously warned the UK that the policy could be illegal because it could expose the refugees to human rights violations in Rwanda.
A European diplomat told CNN that "it's hard to overstate just how much damage has been done. Trust has been hugely damaged."
They cited the Northern Ireland issue, saying that "on our side, we know that there are solutions to the protocol. But those solutions rely on trust. Why should we trust him not to tear up any new agreement in the future?"
Another European official agreed, saying that "there were moments when we looked at the UK with some admiration and thought there might be some path forward. Ukraine was something bigger than our squabbles."