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EU sues Britain again as N. Ireland bill undermines trust

EU sues Britain again as N. Ireland bill undermines trust

EU sues Britain again as N. Ireland bill undermines trust

EU sues Britain again as N. Ireland bill undermines trust (Credit: Google)

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  • The European Commission has launched four new legal proceedings against Britain.
  • It accuses London of failing to respect Northern Ireland trade aspects of the Brexit divorce deal.
  • The procedures could result in fines being imposed by the European Court of Justice, though this is unlikely for at least a year.
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BRUSSELS, 22 JULY (Reuters) – The European Commission launched four new legal proceedings against Britain on Friday, after the British parliament’s lower house approved a bill to repeal some of the rules governing Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trading arrangements.

The Commission, which oversees EU-UK relations, stated that Britain’s refusal to engage in meaningful discussions on the protocol governing those trading arrangements, as well as the passage of the Northern Ireland Protocol bill by the House of Commons, undermined a spirit of cooperation.

It brings the number of “infringement procedures” launched by the European Commission over what it sees as Britain’s failure to respect Northern Ireland trade aspects of the Brexit divorce deal agreed by both parties to seven.

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The procedures could result in fines being imposed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), though this is unlikely to happen for at least a year.

London has proposed eliminating some checks on goods arriving in the British province from the rest of the United Kingdom and has questioned the role of the European Court of Justice in deciding on aspects of the EU-British post-Brexit agreement.

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The four new legal procedures are not related to Britain’s new plans, but to its accusation that the protocol has not been implemented.

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Because the British province is a member of the EU’s single market for goods, imports from the rest of the United Kingdom must be declared and sometimes subject to inspection upon arrival.

The agreement was intended to avoid the reintroduction of border controls between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, but it has enraged pro-British unionist parties by effectively creating a border in the Irish Sea.

The Commission specifically charged Britain with failing to comply with customs requirements for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Britain, failing to transpose EU rules on excise duties in general and alcohol duties, and failing to implement EU rules on sales tax for e-commerce.

Britain has been given two months to respond by the Commission.

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