The European Commission on Friday launched four new infringement procedures against the UK over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The EU’s executive accuses London of failing to comply with the applicable customs requirements, supervision requirements and risk controls on the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
It also says the UK government has failed to implement EU rules on Value Added Tax (VAT) for e-commerce and failed to notify that they will implement EU rules related to indirect taxes, in particular on alcohol and alcoholic beverages.
The UK now has two months to reply to the letters from Brussels demanding “swift remedial actions to restore compliance with the terms of the Protocol”.
If the reply is unsatisfactory, the Commission could then refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
These four new infringement procedures add to the three already launched last month.
These were related to the UK’s draft bill to unilaterally override parts of the international treaty, the continued lack of infrastructure and staffing to carry out customs checks in the UK, and London’s failure to share trading data as required under the Protocol.
The Commission confirmed on Friday that they have not yet received a reply from the UK.
The Northern Ireland Protocol — a key Brexit agreement that leaves Northern Ireland within the bloc’s Single Market– has been a source of continued strife between London and Brussels since the UK officially left the European Union on 1 January 2021.
The UK government, which negotiated and agreed to the protocol, now says it endangers the Good Friday Agreement which ended decades of bloody sectarian violence in Ireland.
It demands that the whole treaty be renegotiated which Brussels has steadfastly rejected, calling for solutions to be found within its framework.
The British legislation unveiled last month and currently making its way through parliament would override parts of the agreement by creating so-called green and red channels to waive customs checks for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and are intended for the Northern Irish market only. It has been branded “illegal” by Brussels.
Source: Euro News