The European Commission will reactivate the judicial process against the United Kingdom for violating the provisions of the protocol for Northern Ireland negotiated between the parties to mitigate the impact of Brexit in Ulster, after the Government of Boris Johnson formally presented a law on Monday that in the practice unilaterally suspends the pact.
“The Commission will consider continuing the infringement procedure opened in March 2021 against the UK Government. We suspended that measure in a constructive spirit of cooperation to give space to the search for joint solutions, but the unilateral action of the United Kingdom goes directly against it," the vice president of the Community Executive responsible for relations with the United Kingdom, Maros, said from Brussels. Sefkovic.
"Our reaction to unilateral actions by the United Kingdom will reflect the will (to enforce the protocol) and will be proportionate," added the community official, in an appearance without questions. Brussels initiated this first sanctioning file against the United Kingdom by verifying the first British breaches of the protocol, but months later it chose to paralyze the process in favor of a negotiated solution, with no tangible results since then.
An infringement procedure provides for two phases of dialogue with the offending country to resolve the irregularities but, failing agreement, ultimately the case can be brought before the Court of Justice of the EU to decide whether the country should be sanctioned.
Now, the community services will reactivate this file and evaluate the new British law to assess whether it is appropriate to initiate other infringement procedures that specifically address the "risks to the Single Market created by the violation of the protocol", explained Sefcovic, who has also made it clear that it is "unrealistic" to think that the EU will agree to "renegotiate" the agreement.
Sefcovic had already spoken early this Monday with the British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, in a telephone exchange during which she defended the need for this new rule to resolve problems with the application of the protocol, while assuring that no It will not affect the Single Market nor does it require the reintroduction of a hard border between the two Irelands.
The community vice president, for his part, has replied to Truss that unilateral measures only serve to "damage trust" between the parties and create greater uncertainty.