The European Union (EU) reacted harshly this Wednesday to the British decision to promote modifications to the protocol agreed between the parties for Northern Ireland, and announced the initiation of new legal actions against the country for unilaterally breaking the protocol.
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in Brussels that “there is no legal or political justification for unilaterally changing an international agreement,” adding that the British gesture “leaves us with no choice but to act.”
(Also read: Boris Johnson seeks to overcome crisis with suspension of Northern Ireland protocol)
The British government presented a bill to Parliament on Monday that unilaterally modifies the post-Brexit customs provisions applied to Northern Ireland.
London considers that the text does not violate international law and launches a legislative approval process of several weeks that seeks to significantly modify the so-called “Northern Ireland protocol”, negotiated with Brussels in the framework of Brexit.
This Wednesday, Sefcovic said that “this British legislation, as designed and presented, is illegal. Full stop.”
(You may be interested in: Johnson: new law only makes ‘trivial adjustments’ to Northern Ireland protocol)
That British legislation, as designed and presented, is illegal
Step “it is extremely damaging to the mutual trust and respect between the EU and the UKhas created deep uncertainty and casts a shadow over our overall cooperation,” the official told a news conference.
On Wednesday, Sefcovic said the EU “has been avoiding these legal actions because we wanted to build a constructive atmosphere to find solutions.”
Thus, Sefcovic announced “two new infringement proceedings” against the UK.
The first is “for failing to carry out the necessary checks at border checkpoints in Northern Ireland” and to ensure adequate infrastructure and staff.
The second is “for failing to provide the EU with essential trade statistics to enable the European Union to protect its single market.”
Thus, these procedures do not seem intended to respond directly to the legislation promoted by the British government, but are intended to make the British side comply with the signed agreements.
(Also: What is the UK’s controversial migrant deportation program)
There will be no new negotiation
The protocol, said the senior official, “was the solution, agreed with the UK government to protect the Good Friday agreement (…), avoid a border on the island of Ireland, and protect the integrity of the single market for the European Union”.
On the other hand, he insisted that the EU has no intention of renegotiating what it has agreed. “We are not going to reopen the entire protocol negotiated two years ago,” the commissioner stressed.
The understanding was one of the most difficult obstacles in the Brexit negotiations, and it was proposed to find a functional solution to the situation created in the currency between the Republic of Ireland (which is part of the EU) and the British province of Northern Ireland. North.
The negotiations sought to agree on a mechanism that prevents the implementation of a physical border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, to protect the validity of the Good Friday peace agreement.
(Read more: Boris Johnson will ‘move on’ after internal crisis in his party)
That agreement was signed in 1998 and ended decades of violence in the region. The negotiated solution was to implement customs controls for products arriving in the region from the rest of the United Kingdom.
In a message on Twitter, the Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, noted that the current situation “is the result of the British government’s deliberate strategy of prioritizing provocation over association.”
“Irresponsible decisions by the British government this week have forced the EU to respond to the threat of breaking international law with serious consequences,” he said.
However, the unionists, in favor of the continuity of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom, consider that the mechanism is a threat.
The crisis worsened after the republican party Sinn Fein, in favor of the reunification of Ireland, prevailed in the elections on May 5, but the unionists refuse to form a government until London modifies the protocol.
Most Northern Irish political parties, including Sinn Fein, said in a joint letter that they “reject in the strongest possible terms” the new British legislation.
For its part, the British government declared itself “disappointed” this Wednesday by the start by the European Union of an infringement procedure against it.
“We are disappointed that the EU has initiated this legal action,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters, justifying his decision by the failure of the negotiations because, he said, the proposals from Brussels represented a “setback”. .
Scotland reactivates the campaign for independence from the United Kingdom
Who are the British who were banned from entering their country by Russia?
Five places in the world that offer unusual benefits to repopulate
#takes #legal #action #breaching #postBrexit #deal
Leave a Reply