On Friday, the EU commission launched four new legal procedures against the UK after the British House of Commons approved a bill to scrap some regulations ruling post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.
The commission revealed that Britain’s unwillingness to involve in a meaningful discussion on the protocol ruling the trading arrangements plus its lower parliament passage of the Northern Ireland protocol bill undermined cooperation.
This latest legal procedure makes it 7 “infringement procedures” the commission has launched against the UK over its inability to respect Northern Ireland trade parts of the Brexit divorce arrangement agreed by the two sides.
The lawsuit can make the ECJ, the European Court of Justice, impose fines against Britain, though it may not happen for a year.
What’s more, the EU Commission has disclosed that it’s ready to launch more procedures to guide the EU single market from the UK’s protocol violations.
In reaction, the UK said that the EU’s action is “disappointing.” The government spokesperson maintained, “A legal dispute is in nobody’s interest and will not fix the problems facing the people and businesses of Northern Ireland. The EU is left no worse off as a result of the proposals we have made in the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.”
Britain is asked to respond in 2 months
In the meantime, London has proposed to scrap some checks on items from other parts of the UK coming from the British province and has challenged the duty of the ECJ to decide on details of the post-Brexit arrangement concluded by Britain and the EU.
The four new legal procedures don’t relate to Britain’s fresh plans; however, it relates to the accusation that it hasn’t executed the protocol.
Northern Ireland is under the EU single market for goods, indicating that imports from other parts of the UK are subject to customs declarations and often need checks on arrival.
This arrangement was designed to prevent reinstating border controls between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, but it has inflamed pro-British unionist parties by putting a border across the Irish Sea.
The EU commission charged Britain with failure of complying with customs requirements for items passing from Northern Ireland to Britain, not interchanging EU regulations on excise duties for alcohol and in general, and not executing EU regulations on e-commerce sales tax.
The commission has given Britain 2 months to respond.