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See you in court! EU to take legal action against Britain TODAY over Brexit deal move

2 min read

Boris Johnson discusses Northern Ireland protocol

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EU Brexit chief Maros Sefcovic is expected to send two letters to Downing Street to formally trigger the legal proceedings. The move comes after No10 announced plans to unilaterally delay the introduction of customs checks on supermarket and other agricultural goods being shipped from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland. The Government argues the temporary measures are designed to give people and businesses extra time to adapt to life under the Brexit divorce deal’s protocol to avoid a hard border

But Brussels accused Britain of being in breach of the commitments it signed up to as part of the 2019 agreement.

Mr Sefocvic, a Commission vice-president is planning a “twin-track” retaliation that could ultimately result in the Government being hauled before the European Court of Justice.

He will inform Britain it has not properly implemented the Northern Ireland protocol, including the construction of permanent border control posts in the region.

But he will also claim the Government has acted in “bad faith” by threatening to unilaterally extend the grace periods from Brussels red tape for the region.

Last week Britain sought to defuse Brussels angry response by finalising access to several key customs databases for the bloc’s officials.

It was a central complaint in the EU’s attack on the Government for not properly implementing the protocol.

Whitehall insiders fear that the bloc’s bureaucratic approach to Northern Ireland could risk further flare-ups.

Tensions have already been at breaking point after the introduction of post-Brexit trade checks in the Irish Sea.

Customs officials had previously been withdrawn from ports because of fears over their safety.

To keep the Irish border open, Northern Ireland effectively remains part of the EU’s single market and some checks are now made on some products arriving from the rest of the UK.

But Unionists claim these controls have driven a wedge between countries of the United Kingdom.

The row over Northern Ireland risks creating significant tensions between the EU and UK.

Brussels and Dublin have already attempted to lobby Irish-friendly politicians in Washington to support the bloc’s position.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for changes to be made to the Brexit border plans.

Speaking on a trip to Northern Ireland, he said: “We want to ensure that the protocol upholds the wishes of both communities and has the consent of both. There has got to be East-West consent to what is going on as well as North-South. We want to make sure that is built into that.”

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