In response to Monday’s announcement of the Northern Ireland Protocol bill, the European Commission has announced its intention to resume legal action against the United Kingdom, which has been suspended since September.
British business leaders urged Boris Johnson not to participate in a “damaging trade war” with the EU after the British government has announced plans to invalidate the post-Brexit arrangements governing Northern Ireland. ..
The Commission’s vice-chairman, Maroš Šefchovic, hinted at further steps, saying that the non-literal actions of the United Kingdom undermined the confidence needed for the effective operation of the post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels.
He said Northern Ireland companies enjoying access to the EU Single Market under the terms of the Protocol can now see it at risk.
The British Prime Minister argued that the bill contained only minor bureaucratic changes, and said Downing Street was an “insurance mechanism” if no negotiated agreement with the EU was found. ..
However, Stephen Phipson, CEO of the manufacturer’s organization MakeUK, said businesses need to urgently avoid the negotiating table in order to reach a “realistic” settlement.
“We are aware that we need to change the protocol in its current state,” he said.
“But the way to do this is not to start a trade war with the EU during the financial crisis. This is equally damaging to both UK and EU companies and is already growing in the supply chain. Will put an additional burden on you. “
Richard Barge, CEO of the London Chamber of Commerce, said the actions of the British government risked “grave harm” to businesses across the UK.
“Achieving Brexit meant at least bringing certainty to businesses after years of waiting for the future of Britain’s trade relations with the European Union to become clear,” he said. Said.
“The introduction of this bill means that we are currently on the verge of a trade war with the EU, which will mean further economic distress and reduced investment.”
Despite the warning, the conflicts may be a little further apart. The UK government is facing great opposition to plans at the House of Lords, and it can take months before the law is enacted.
Johnson signed the Protocol as part of the UK’s Brexit divorce settlement with the EU, along with measures aimed at preventing the harsh borders of the Irish islands.
However, by imposing a check on goods that cross the Irish Sea from Britain, it has fueled the anger of Northern Ireland members and is opposed by Tory European skeptics.
The bill will allow ministers to establish a “green lane” and allow trusted traders to move goods from the UK to Northern Ireland without a check as long as the goods are in the UK.
Products marketed in Northern Ireland are permitted to comply with UK or EU regulations without having to comply with Brussels regulations.
The legislation also removes the European Court of Justice as the ultimate arbitrator of trade disputes over the Protocol and instead delegates its function to an independent arbitrator.
The British government argued that the bill complies with international law under the “Dogma of Necessity”. This allows the treaty’s obligations to be revoked under “specific, very exceptional, limited conditions”.