BRUSSELS — The European Union took legal actions against Britain on Thursday over its strategies to pass laws which could breach pieces of their legally binding divorce agreement that the two sides reached late last year.
The EU action underscored the worsening relations with Britain, which had been a part of this bloc before Jan. 31. Both sides are attempting to invent a basic free trade agreement before the end of the calendar year, but the struggle over the contentious U.K. Internal Market invoice has soured relations this past month.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen explained that the British strategy” by its very nature is a violation of the duty of good faith laid down at the Withdrawal Agreement.”
“If adopted as is, it is going to be an incomplete contradiction to the protocol of Ireland-Northern Ireland” from the withdrawal arrangement,” she explained.
EU leaders fear that when the U.K. bill becomes law, it might result in the reimposition of a tricky land boundary between Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain, EU member Ireland, also erode the stability that’s underpinned peace since the 1998 Good Friday accord.
The EU had awarded London before Wednesday to draw the bill, but U.K. lawmakers voted 340-256 Tuesday to drive the laws beyond its last significant hurdle in the House of Commons.
Von der Leyen stated”the deadline yesterday. The problematic provisions have not been eliminated. Hence this morning, the commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to the U.K. authorities,” that augurs the beginning of a lengthy legal conflict.
“The commission will continue to work hard to get a timely and full execution of this Withdrawal Agreement,” she explained. “We stand by our devotion “
The invoice also has to be accepted by the U.K.’s House of Lords, where it’s guaranteed to satisfy strong resistance since it breaches international law.
The British government stood its ground within a direct response, stating”we will need to make a valid safety net to guard the integrity of their U.K.’s internal marketplace, ensure ministers are always able to deliver on their duties to Northern Ireland and protect against the profits in the peace procedure.”
The U.K. government claims that it simplifies the Good Friday peace accord and the Brexit withdrawal arrangement, but needs the legislation in the event the EU makes unreasonable requirements after Brexit that may impede trade between Northern Ireland and the remainder of the U.K.
At precisely the same period, EU and U.K. officials were ongoing talks on a trade deal, moving into comprehensive negotiations over everything from fisheries rights, state aid rules, and lawful supervision in the event of disputes.
The EU-U.K. commerce negotiating session is designed to wrap up Friday but expectations are the discussions will last right up into an Oct. 15-16 EU summit, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has become a deadline for a bargain. The EU said discussions could last up to the close of the month.
Britain says it needs a free trade deal along the lines of this one the EU has Canada, permitting for products to be exchanged with no tariffs or quotas.
The EU says when the U.K. needs access to EU markets it has to honor criteria that EU companies need to live by because Britain is simply too close to permit for undercutting principles that will allow for so-called”dumping” of U.K. product at costs lower than in the EU.