The EU expect to launch legal-action against the UK government this week over its judgment to scrap some post-Brexit trade arrangements.
The EU expect to launch legal action against the UK
Ministers insist current checks on some goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must end to eliminate harm to the peace process.
- They published a parliamentary bill on Monday aimed at overriding parts of the deal signed with the EU in 2020.
- But Brussels says going back on the arrangement breaks international law.
- The Northern Ireland Protocol is the part of the Brexit deal which keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
This prevents a hard border with the Republic of Ireland –
including checks there on the movement of people and goods –
which both the UK and EU want to avoid in order to ensure peace is maintained.
But instead it means checks on some goods arriving into Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK.
That oppose unionists in Northern Ireland who argue it creates a trade border in the Irish Sea and could lead to the break-up of the UK.
Following elections in Northern Ireland last month,
the Democratic Unionist Party is refusing to serve in a power-
sharing executive with Sinn Féin until the protocol is changed.
But other parties in Northern Ireland – including Sinn Féin,
the Alliance Party and the SDLP – accept the deal as it stands.
The UK government says it would prefer to agree changes with the EU,
rather than act alone in making changes to the protocol.
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol row about?
The European Commission is expected to sign off the next legal steps at its meeting on Wednesday,
while many senior EU figures have spoken out against the UK’s plan to rewrite parts of the protocol.
“Britain has taken a very regrettable decision that goes against all the contracts between the EU and Britain,” German Chancellor Olaf Sholz said.
“It is also unjustified because the European Commission made many pragmatic proposals.”
Italy’s Europe Minister Enzo Amendola said the UK’s proposal was worrying and “would violate their international legal obligations”.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Boris Johnson’s government to
“continue negotiations with the EU in good faith”.🔱