The European Union has launched a new legal action against the United Kingdom for non-compliance with the Northern Ireland protocol.
He launched four new infringement procedures on Friday as relations between the bloc and Westminster deteriorated further.
The EU said it was forced to act as the UK showed an ‘unwillingness to engage in meaningful discussion’ since last February on the post-Brexit deal to avoid a hard border on the EU. island of Ireland.
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Its executive said it had refrained from launching legal action for more than a year “to create the space needed to seek common solutions with the UK”.
But he said the fact that the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill continues to pass through the British parliament goes “directly against this spirit” of cooperation.
The bill aims tear off parts of the protocolincluding the removal of checks on animal goods and products from Britain to Northern Ireland, which the government says is necessary to preserve the peace and stability provided for in the Good Friday Agreement .
On Wednesday, the bill – which the EU says is illegal – authorized the House of Commons to give it a third reading by the House of Lords after the summer break.
The European Commission has accused the UK of failing to comply with customs and excise requirements and failing to enforce EU VAT rules for e-commerce, as well as failing to collect data from relevant export declaration on goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.
He said failure to do so increased the risk of smuggling through Northern Ireland.
An EU document revealing details of the legal action said: “For example, it opens up the possibility for traders to circumvent EU rules on bans and restrictions on the export of goods to third countries or offer opportunities for carousel traffic of goods declared for export to the EU and not leaving customs territory via Northern Ireland.”
Read more: What is the Northern Ireland Protocol and why is it important?
He added that the UK has two months to respond to the EU “after which the Commission stands ready to take further action”.
This is not the first time the EU has taken legal action against the protocol.
In June, the EU launched two legal actions against the UK over the protocol.
At the same time, Brussels has resumed the proceedings against the United Kingdom which it had suspended last September for breaching the treaty of withdrawal from the EU concluded in 2020.
He threatened to take the UK to the European Court of Justice if there was no response in two months.
The Northern Ireland Protocol effectively created a boundary in the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland, which means that goods exported from Britain are subject to customs controls.
The UK government says this has created a headache for businesses and power-sharing arrangements put in place following the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
But the EU says it is ‘the best solution’ the bloc and the best resolution the UK could come up with to protect the deal, avoid a hard border and ensure the integrity of the EU’s single market .