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EU files lawsuit against UK after plans to nullify negotiations with Northern Ireland

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BRUSSELS, JUNE 15 (Reuters) – The European Commission announced on Wednesday that the European Commission had rekindled another challenge it had previously halted after London announced plans to invalidate some rules governing post-Brexit trade in Northern Ireland. We have started two new legal suits.

Proceedings can result in fines being imposed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), but are likely to take more than a year.

London has proposed scrapping some checks for goods arriving in the UK from the rest of the UK and has challenged the ECJ’s role in determining parts of the post-Brexit agreement between the EU and the UK. read more

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“There is no justification for unilaterally changing international agreements,” said Maros Sepkovich, vice-chairman of the European Commission, which oversees EU relations with former EU member Britain.

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” he said at a press conference, adding that it cast a shadow on the relationship at a time when international cooperation was more important.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said London was disappointed with the EU’s legal action.

Referring to the EU proposal to ease trade after Brexit, he said: “The approach proposed by the EU is not different from what was said before, it will increase the burden on businesses and citizens and put us back from where we are.” Northern Ireland problem.

The three legal proceedings have nothing to do with Britain’s new plans, but with the EU’s belief that the UK has failed to implement protocols governing trade in Northern Ireland.

Two new lawsuits hold the UK responsible for failing to ensure adequate staff and infrastructure to conduct inspections in Northern Ireland and for failing to provide sufficient trade data to the EU.

The other has to do with the movement of agricultural products, which was halted a year ago to improve the atmosphere of the talks. Sefcovic said the EU could refer the case to the ECJ if the UK fails to deal with the EU charges within two months.

Sefcovic said Brussels still wants to resume talks with the UK to address difficulties in shipping UK products to Northern Ireland.

“We decided that our response should be measured and proportionate. And we’re not only proposing legal action here today, but specifying specifically what we can do,” he said. .

As the UK provinces are part of the EU Single Goods Market, goods imported from the rest of the UK are subject to customs declaration and sometimes require confirmation upon arrival. The agreement was set up to avoid resuming border controls between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, which had been lifted after the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement.

The agreement angered the pro-British Labor Party by effectively creating a border in the Irish Sea.

The commission made a series of proposals last October to streamline customs procedures and reduce checks.

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Reports by Philip Blenkinsop and John Chalmers Additional reports by Liz Piper in London Edited by Mark Potter

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principle.

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2/ https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-launches-new-legal-steps-against-britain-over-n-ireland-plans-2022-06-15/

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