EU launches new legal action against Britain after Northern Ireland Protocol clears Commons

The European Union has launched new legal action against Britain for failing to comply with the Brexit Treaty’s Northern Ireland Protocol shortly after the British government’s plan to abolish part of the Protocol was approved by the Commonwealth House. did.

The European Commission has launched four new infringement proceedings against the United Kingdom on 22 July. The UK claimed that it had been forced to act since February because it did not want to participate in a “meaningful debate” on the Protocol.

The Commission accused the UK of failing to comply with tariff requirements, not imposing EU rules on VAT for e-commerce, and violating rules on alcohol sales tax.

The latest proceedings will be in addition to the infringement proceedings initiated on June 15.

In a statement, the European Commission said: “Despite repeated calls by the European Parliament, 27 EU member states, and the European Commission to implement the Protocol, the UK Government did not.

“In the spirit of constructive cooperation, the Commission has refrained from initiating certain infringement proceedings for more than a year to create space for finding joint solutions with the United Kingdom.

“But it’s directly against this spirit that the UK hasn’t wanted to participate in meaningful discussions since February last year and the Northern Ireland Protocol bill continues to pass the British Parliament.”

Controversial plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the EU and Northern Ireland Protocol in 2019 as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, with measures aimed at preventing the harsh borders of Ireland’s islands.

However, the protocol has been strongly opposed by members of the British state, effectively keeping Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market while building the Irish Sea border between the state and the British mainland. I am complaining that I am.

Northern Ireland has not had a functioning local government since February, when the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), then the largest party in the regional parliament, withdrew from power-sharing executives in protest of the Protocol.

On June 14, the UK Government announced plans to invalidate part of the Protocol, allowing ministers to establish a “green lane” to allow trusted traders to move goods from the UK to Northern Ireland without a check. I did it. England.

However, the EU has criticized Britain’s actions to break international law and undermine credibility between the two sides.

Conflicts run the risk of a trade war, with tariffs imposed and the entire Brexit transaction between the UK and the EU suspended.

The Northern Ireland Protocol bill passed the House of Commons on July 20, after parliamentarians cast 267-195 votes and a majority of 72 votes.

We are currently facing a rocky vehicle through the House of Lords. There, when considering the bill after summer vacation, it is expected that peers will challenge some of the bill and set up a long confrontation between the two homes.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan