Brussels has warned it will launch legal action “very soon” following a move by the UK to unilaterally delay implementation of part of the Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland, The Guardian reported.
Brexit: EU to launch legal proceedings against UK 'very soon'
STEPANAKERT, MARCH 5, ARTSAKHPRESS: The European commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič, said the announcement by the government on Wednesday had come as a “very negative surprise”.
David Frost, the Cabinet Office minister, said the UK was extending a series of “grace periods” designed to ease trade between Northern Ireland – which remains in the EU single market for goods – and Great Britain while permanent arrangements are worked out.
It provoked a furious response in Brussels, with the EU accusing Britain of going back on its treaty obligations in the Brexit withdrawal agreement intended to ensure there is no return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Sefcovic, who is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement, said that the European Commission is now working on infringement proceedings in relation to the UK.
Northern Ireland's withdrawal protocol means bringing Northern Ireland in line with various EU rules requiring the verification of goods entering the region from the UK.